THE RSL’s and parks may have been a little quieter this year, but Remembrance Day was just as important than ever.
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November 11 marked the 102nd year anniversary of guns falling silent on the Western Front after four years of continuous warfare; the end of World War I.
Over 60 thousand Australians died in service during 1914 to 1918.
In the subsequent wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, nearly two million men and women from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force have served.
Originally known as Armistice Day, this was renamed at the end of World War II to Remembrance Day in order to remember all who have and are serving.
A one minute silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month was shared across the country by people paying tribute to those who risked their lives.
Tragically, over one-hundred thousand names are listed on the roll at the Australian War Memorial, with Bulahdelah RSL Sub-Branch and Vice-President; Steven Newman noting 70 names on the honour roll at the Bulahdelah RSL.
With the Great Lakes Region being vastly spread, Newman stated that quite a number of locals who served have “never been recognised”.
“There’d be more than that in the whole area,” he said.
“A lot of people didn’t come forward afterwards until the late 70s/80s, so were never recognised for it.”
Being only given two weeks notice that they were allowed to go ahead with a small commemoration for the day, while still abiding by COVID-19 and council restrictions, they decided to have a small gathering in the auditorium in the Bulahdelah Bowling Club.
Having had family in the Australian Defence Forces (ADF), Newman felt strongly about the day being allowed to go ahead after COVID-19 restrictions prevented the typical ANZAC Day commemorations.
“Remembrance Day is to remember everyone that has been lost in a conflict,” he said.
“It is a big day on the calendar, as is Anzac Day.
“Everyone lit the candle and displayed their patriotism on ANZAC Day with their driveway commitments.
“It really was good and next year will be different again.”
The RSL Sub-Branch President, and Vietnam veteran Peter Millen performed the service, and Sub-Branch member John Renfrew laid the wreath on behalf of the RSL.
John Sahyoun, Bulahdelah Chairman for the National Party of Australia, attended the Remembrance Ceremony along with the Country Women’s Associations (CWA) and the Bulahdelah Central School, which had a good turn out.
“It was great. We like to support our citizens who have in the past actually served in the national services.
“We truly appreciate their efforts giving us the ability to live in a free country.
“We’re hoping for a brighter and better 2021 and hopefully these ceremonies will be able to persist into the future.”
By Samantha COOKE