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Premier’s Message – May 2019

 

Welcome to the May edition of Veterans SA E-news.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the magnificent army of volunteers and South Australian small businesses who, at very short notice, put up their hands to support a highly successful 2019 Anzac on Torrens event at the Torrens Parade Ground on Anzac Day.

The feedback from those in attendance, particularly veterans, was overwhelmingly positive. The wider Adelaide community seized the opportunity to support and thank those who have served, and who are currently serving, on the most significant day on our commemorative calendar.

Volunteers travelled from as far away as Waikerie, one even from Tasmania, dedicating their morning and afternoon to serve the Anzac Day crowd who were honouring our past and present servicemen and women. To all involved – Thank You.

I would also like to thank the RSL’s Anzac Day Committee, led by Mr Ian Smith, for again coordinating a faultless series of commemorative events in the City of Adelaide.

The commemorations began with the Youth Vigil on Anzac Eve and concluded with the service at the Cross of Sacrifice, following the Anzac Day March.

Every year, the RSL’s Anzac Day Committee, the volunteers, City of Adelaide and South Australia Police work tirelessly to deliver a safe and respectful environment for citizens to pay their respects at the Anzac Day commemorative events.

Thank you to all the metropolitan and regional RSL sub-Branches who organised a Dawn Service for their local community. Planning these services can take weeks, and in some cases months, to plan and coordinate.

On behalf of all South Australians, and especially our veteran community, I thank and congratulate those involved.

The month of May is yet another significant commemorative period:

  • The 77th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea (4 May 1942) when, for the first time, opposing Navies fired upon each other without ever seeing their targets
  • The 51st Anniversary of the Battle of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral (Vietnam – 12 May 1968) when Australian forces withstood overwhelming odds to repel a determined North Vietnamese Army assault
  • The Boer War, that saw more than 1,000 South Australian servicemen deployed, ended on 31 May 1902

You will also read in this edition of E-news about the service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders that will be honoured at the Aboriginal Veterans Commemorative Service on 31 May commencing at 10:30am.

In the words of Sir Ernest Scott, author of ‘Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18’:

It is a precious benefaction for a nation to possess men whom it is proud to admire – heroes who have wrestled with death in a great cause. The war gave such men to every hamlet in the land; and scarcely a place which had sent forth soldiers who shed their blood failed to commemorate their deeds by some public record of their names. The magnitude of the sacrifice was great, but its compensations were noble.

While Scott’s language is from another era, the sentiment conveyed is as applicable today as it was when he first wrote the passage in 1936. It underpins the purpose of Anzac Day and all commemorative days: to remember, to commemorate, to honour, to acknowledge and to thank those who have served.

We Will Remember Them

 


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