Remembrance Day 2017 commemorated at Narooma

The commemoration of Remembrance Day at Narooma attracted a large crowd to the War Memorial at Club Narooma, despite it being a Saturday morning.

Young Ethan Griffiths, a school captain from Narooma Public School, started the ceremony reading a moving piece about the “wall of death".

This was the first Remembrance Day where the new memorial to war animals was on display. Members of the Montague Arts and Crafts Society made small tombstones for actual animals that had given the ultimate sacrifice and also a collage of photos of war animals.

June Welsh made a collage of war animals that included a photo of Flapper the pigeon that won a Victoria Cross in World War I who saved his platoon of men who were surrounded by the Germans by getting a message out. 

Narooma RSL sub-branch president Paul Naylor mentioned Flapper in his speech and thanked the MACS ladies for their efforts. 

One of the flag raisers for the ceremony, Jeff Illes decided to wear medals he had just made from his father Geoff Iles’ war contribution of serving in the Italian and Middle East campaigns of World War II. He wore his father’s medals instead of his own from his service in the Vietnam and Malaya/Borneo campaigns.

A number of visitors attended including a group of motorcyclists from Cops Own Bikes or C.O.B. who were passing through Narooma on their way to a club meeting on the Clyde.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Remembrance Day today was an opportunity for every Australian to reflect on the lives lost to war and the service and sacrifice of our defence personnel.

Mr Tehan honoured Australia’s service men and women at the Remembrance Day National Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial today.

“Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the First World War Armistice in 1918 and is an important part of Australia’s history,” Mr Tehan said.

“At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the nation observes a minute’s silence for those who have died serving our country in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

“More than 1.5 million Australians have served in defence of our nation and our values and more than 102,000 have died. Today we honour all of them.

“I encourage everyone in the community to observe a minute’s silence today and to wear a red poppy to honour those who have fought and died for our nation.”

Mr Tehan will also attend a commemorative service at the French Embassy with French Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Christophe Penot.

“Australia and France share an enduring relationship forged over a century of military service,” Mr Tehan said.

“The bonds formed on the First World War battlefields have strengthened over time and will ensure our continued cooperation in honouring our fallen service men and women.”

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice with a service held in Villers-Bretonneux, France as part of the international commemorative program.