REMBRANCE DAY 2018
100TH Anniversary of Armistice Day
Emerald - "A Day to Remember"
After a week of living in a town covered in 20.000 poppies crocheted, knitted and made from felt, the residents of Emerald gathered at Anzac Place on Sunday November 11th for the 100th Centenary of Armistice Day.
Together with many visitors, a crowd of over 3,000 people witnessed a very moving and memorable service. Our local Federal MP, Jason Wood opened the ceremony followed by the arrival of the Puffing Billy 861 loco covered in poppies and bringing with it 34 scouts, guides and school children each carrying a photo of a soldier who did not return from the war surrounded by poppies. Graeme Legge and June Styling carried the Honour Rolls of the 66 men who returned to Emerald including their own relatives (see photo). 34 pigeons were then released to spiritually send our 34 men who died, free into the skies over where they once lived.
It is a tradition in Emerald RSL's services that Puffing Billy sounds its salute after the minutes silence. LISTEN HERE.
After the sounds of warfare and the traditional Remembrance Day service, the minutes silence was a solemn time for all to remember the futility of war., Keynote speakers Matt Cocks and Graeme Legge gave stirring speeches. Graeme spoke about life in Emerald in 1918. 6 war planes then roared over the crowd and gave their salute. Mark Fenby sang the iconic song “I Was Only 19” and the National Anthem was sung with gusto by locals Jules Vines and Carol McCoy. Christine Weller and Matt Francis read the renowned poem “In Flanders Fields” and The Emerald College Band entertained the crowd with songs from WW1 during the morning.
The community then paid their respects by laying a wreath or a poppy on the cenotaph.
All in all, a very memorable occasion for a small community that sacrificed so much so many years ago. A sacrifice that no one will forget.
Lest We Forget.
Acknowledging Jenny Baker for her photograph and video.