ANZAC DAY 2015
ANZAC Day in Braidwood is always a special event. As this year the date was the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli, which started the legend of ANZAC, the RSL sub branch wanted to try a little harder to make the day especially memorable.
In recognition of the Centenary of ANZAC 2014-2018, we also undertook the task of identifying and recording the histories of all those who went to WWI from Braidwood. 465 men and women from the district volunteered and went to WWI. 88 did not return. We have published individual booklets on the 88 who did not return and are continuing the task for the 377 who did come home.
The town was also encouraged to dress shop windows with appropriate commemorative displays and their efforts were impressive. Penny Crawford did a wonderful job, revisiting one of her artistic skills and helping us dress several windows.
The RSL committee is very pleased with ANZAC Day 2015. Any day like this takes a lot of planning and preparation. Braidwood showed its marvellous community spirit in many different ways. The way people and groups came together to help and participate showed the great spirit of this town at its best.
The RSL committee would like to thank all those who assisted and helped.
The ANZAC Commemoration Contingent was a moving and wonderful part of the day. 88 local school students from St Bede’s and Braidwood Central School marched as the Braidwood ANZACs Commemoration Contingent, representing these soldiers. They each carried the book with the story of their soldier. The children honoured the memory of their soldier by placing a flag in the garden at the side of Ryrie Park. The children did a marvellous job. Their drill was sharp and they did very well by their soldiers.
I would also like to acknowledge those who helped to make this moving part of the ceremony possible, Chris Nelson and Jeff Wolford for organising the contingent and teaching the children to march; the staff of St Bede’s and Braidwood Central Schools for coming together and making this a town event; Jenny Wallace and her awesome Us on Mondays quilting group for producing the satchels. A large number of the flags were donated by Len Muttons.
The books were launched by our local member, Dr Peter Hendy in the Services club. The books were produced with the work and dedication of a number of people over the last three years. Karen Nelson, a talented genealogist, has been key to this project. She has had a passion for tracking the Braidwood soldiers and tracing their histories. Her husband Chris and their daughter-in-law, Renee, have also been essential parts of the team, helping with AWM on-line tracing and setting up the data base.
The books are a magnificent, if sobering record of the service of each of the 88 soldiers. Karen Shea was responsible for the design and electronic compilation of the individual books. She also created the on-line presentation which supports the book display. Many people have helped with proof reading and editing. Click here to access pdf versions of the books.
The cost of producing these books and the ones later in the year is not insignificant. The sub branch has raised a good portion of the money and we thank the guys, particularly Pring Raynolds, who loves collecting money from our passing traffic. Donations have been made by the federal government from the 100 Years of ANZAC 2014-1018 fund and from our Community Bank. For these we are most grateful.
For those who participated and those who assisted, the police, SES, our sub branch members and the schools, thank you.
Thank you to the Services Club and the golf club for the gunfire breakfast and the excellent lunch we enjoyed. Today’s environment is challenging for the golf club, but it is fighting back with fund raising efforts of its own such as this.
The talent in this town continues to amaze me. The Pied Piper has published many poems from Vietnam and the years after. 100 Years of ANZAC, the poem used in both services, is a very moving addition to his collection.
The Memorial Garden looks very nice thanks to the rain but more so from the efforts of Irene and Jeff Wolford.
The military again gave the day an extra polish. Thank you to Kapyong Company RMC. The drums and piper from ADFA made marching much easier and the bugler was excellent.
This year we managed to find some appropriate new hymns and songs for the ceremonies. Thank you Jeff Wolford for finding these and our local choral group, the Cantors, for leading us so well in singing them.
The RSL sub branch committee sincerely thanks all these people for their tremendous efforts in making the day a success. With such a large event, it is probable we have overlooked someone. Thank you to anyone else who helped.
Hard copies of the books are available to family members on request. Call Karen Nelson on 02 48421106 or send us an email via our website at www.braidwoodrsl.com.au. You can alternatively view all books and other information, or download a copy of the books from that website (click here). You can also see or contribute to the information on the day on that website.