A few short months back, I never imagined we wouldn’t be holding our traditional ANZAC Day commemorations at Chris Cunningham Park and Twin Towns this year.
Whilst we won’t be gathering as a community for the Dawn Service, in no way does this diminish the meaning and importance of ANZAC Day this year, which marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
It’s important to note that the format of ANZAC Day has continually evolved over the past 100 years. Ironically, ANZAC Day was held in a revised format in 1919 due to the outbreak of Spanish flu. Many of our Aussie diggers had just returned to Australia from service during World War I. If we think we are doing it tough dealing with our current circumstances, spare a thought for them.
In 1942, the format was also revised because of World War II and for the first time was held at the Australian War Memorial. Government orders prohibited large public gatherings in case of a Japanese attack, so it was a small occasion with neither a march nor a memorial service.
No matter what comes our way, as a nation, ANZAC Day will always be ANZAC Day. My thoughts are with ex-servicemen and women and those currently serving, who are at the very heart of ANZAC Day commemorations each and every year. They will still be our focus, honoured and acknowledged, albeit a little differently to what we are all used to.
The Australian War Memorial will conduct a private ANZAC Day commemorative service and although this event won’t be open to the public, it will be televised nationally on ABC TV and streamed online at www.awm.com.au from 5.30am.
Join this service from the comfort and safety of your lounge room and pause to remember the 25,000 Australians who were killed during eight months of heavy fighting against the Turkish opposition. It was on the shores of Gallipoli that the ideals of courage, endurance and mateship were shared by our fearless soldiers. It was here that the true and unbreakable ANZAC Spirit all began.
Many Australians have paid the ultimate sacrifice, protecting our country in other theatres of war:
World War 1 (1914) 60,000 lives lost
World War 2 (1939) 27,000 lives lost
Korean War (1950) 339 lives lost
Vietnam (1962) 521 lives lost
East Timor (1999) 4 lives lost
Afghanistan (2001) 43 lives lost
Iraq (2003) 4 lives lost.
It’s timely to also acknowledge the hard-working volunteer committee behind the Coolangatta & Tweed Heads RSL Sub-Branch. As is the case every year, they had already completed months of work on ANZAC Day preparations before they chose to stand down.
Led by President, Joe Russell, they also commit countless hours to welfare work, year in, year out, for ex-servicemen and women and their families in our community. Their results are unsurpassed, anywhere.
Although Twin Towns is a backstop, both for monetary assistance and technical expertise when required, the RSL Sub-Branch deserve all the credit for their incredible work ethic, professionalism and dedication. They are a truly remarkable team.
In closing, I remind you to keep an eye on the Australian War Memorial website and their social media channels for updates on the televised ANZAC Day service. Wherever you are on ANZAC Day this year, stay home and stay safe.
PLACE A POPPY
In light of current restrictions, the clever crew at Ramsgate RSL Memorial Club in San Souci have been thinking outside the box, or in their case, the window!
They have introduced their ‘Place a Poppy’ campaign for ANZAC Day this year, and we’d like to share it with our members.
Twin Towns has created poppy stencils which you can download and print. For those with kids at home, get them involved in colouring in the picture. There are also versions already coloured and ready to go.
In the lead up to ANZAC Day, hang the poppy in the front window of your home so you can continue to commemorate ANZAC Day as a community. Share the template with your friends and family, day care centres, kindergartens and schools that may still be operating.
Let’s see how many poppies we can grow in our local area.
MUSEUM AT HOME HUB
Although the Australian War Memorial is currently closed to the public, it remains committed to sharing the stories of Australia’s armed forces and the Australian experience of war.
‘Museum at Home’ brings the Memorial to people wherever they may be, with an extensive range of online and digital resources, including podcast series, documentaries, 360-degree digital experiences and a number of online exhibitions.
If you’re spending some time isolating at home, head to https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/museumathome
We are sure members will enjoy tuning in to one or more of the AWM podcasts, including the one below.
Trapped: over six nail-biting episodes, join Tom Trumble, historian, writer, and the grandson of Flight Lieutenant Rofe, as he shares one of the greatest escape stories of the Pacific War. Via dramatised first-hand accounts, diary entries and official records, as well as interviews with survivors, follow the experiences of the 29 brave airmen stranded on Timor in 1942 – as well as the men who risked their lives to rescue them, and those sent to hunt them down.
100 FACES RETURN TO MARK ANZAC DAY
On ANZAC Day, the huge 17m x 5m exterior screen on the Twin Towns building will once again bring to life 100 faces of men and women who served, or are still serving, in the Australian Defence Force or Allied Forces.
If you are passing by the Club between 6.00am and 7.00am and 6.00pm and 12.00am, you may notice the light show in honour of the contributions made by so many great Australians.
CANCELLATION OF 2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Take notice that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Twin Towns Services Club Limited (the Club) scheduled to be held at 7pm on the 19th of May 2020has been cancelled.
EASTER EGGS & MUSIC QUIZ
Thanks to those that entered Twin Towns Easter Egg guessing competition. Congratulations to Ian from Tweed Heads West who says he used a “scientific approach” to nail the exact number of eggs in the bowl which was 254! He now has a $100 gift card to spend at Twin Towns when the Club reopens.
Alan from Banora Point and Ann from Jacobs Well, both just one number off, took out second and third prizes.
We’re currently finalising our next competition especially for Twin Towns music buffs. There’ll be more chances to win vouchers so stay tuned.
Still no word on when Twin Towns and other NSW Clubs can get back to business but when we know, our valued members and staff will be the first to know too!
For over 60 years, Twin Towns has been the heart and hub of our community. We soon will be again, and though things may temporarily look and feel a little different when your Clubs reopen, we’ll be doing everything possible to ensure a safe, comfortable, happy and welcoming environment for all our members and friends.
Fingers crossed it’s not too far away.