Remembering the fallen

Wreath laying in the Memorial Park on Saturday.

Major Shaun Morony salutes after laying a wreath at Friday’s Remembrance Day service at Teloca House.

Narrandera was fortunate enough to have two Remembrance Day services on Friday and Saturday.

The first was held at Teloca House for the benefit of the residents there. With the service presented by Stacey Moses, General Manager of RSL LifeCare, the ceremony included a few short words from guest speaker Major Shaun Morony, from Kapooka Army Base.

“Today I’ve been asked to brief you on Remembrance Day,” Major Morony said. “My six-year-old asked me ‘what’s Remembrance Day?’ and I explained to her the best that I could that it was about the end of WWI. And then she asked me, ‘what does it mean?’

“It got me thinking. Yes, it is about the end of the war. Yes, it does concern Australians. But that doesn’t explain what it means.

“I was watching the news a while back, and there was a news report about one of the many stories of doom and gloom. It seems that there’s a lot in our world that we need to improve. That’s why we have defence forces; because there are so many things that we get wrong. We make mistakes.

“Remembrance Day reminds me that we have hope. I have two children, six and nine. I do everything for them. I wear this uniform for them. Remembrance Day is about a great tragedy, but it reminds us that there are things to hope for. With tragedy there is a lot to be thankful for.

“Every day is an opportunity to be better, in the hope that one day we will have peace. We will have prosperity all around the world. I like to think that Remembrance Day is about our future,” Major Morony said.

Narrandera High School’s captains for next year Anna Craze and Murray Evans read the poems “The Soldier” and “Dulce et Decorum Est” after Major Morony’s speech.

Air League members were responsible for the raising of the flag during Saturday’s ceremony, with Joanna Elmer playing the bugle.

NHS students were also involved in Saturday’s Remembrance Day service, held in the memorial gardens. The Air League boys were invited to raise and lower the flag during the ceremony.

“I was very pleased to be able to involve other people in the ceremony,” said Peter Simpson of the Narrandera RSL sub-branch. “It’s for the town, it’s not just about the RSL and our remembrance. We do it for the whole community.”

The service was reasonably well attended, with between 50 and 70 people at the park.

“Being a Saturday, I don’t know if that made a difference. Next year it will be a Sunday.

“But next year will be the most important service we’ll ever do, because it will be 100 years since the war ended.”

Local musician Joanna Elmer was the bugler at both services.

“Everyone who had a job to do did it very well,” Mr Simpson said.

The services were marred slightly by the shadow cast over the RSL. With its Sydney offices currently under investigation, the RSL is unable to fundraise or function as a charity. Poppies were given away at both ceremonies.

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