Sunday, 7 December 2014

Recognition of Diggers in country towns

During the Second World War, and immediately after it, servicemen who were home on leave or who had been discharged from the services were invited to, and included in, community events as the following articles found in Trove show.

First Anniversary of Club House 
Banquet, Speeches, Songs, and Music 
Upwards of sixty persons attended the banquet in commemoration of the first Anniversary of the Club House of the Bourke Bowling Club, on Thursday evening, August 13th, at 7.30 p.m.

In addition to members of the local Club, visitors were present from other towns and also members of the fighting forces in uniform.

The tables were nicely arranged in the large Club room and attractively decorated overhead with colored streamers. An excellent menu was arranged by the caterer, Mr. J. Maroulis, and a willing band of assistants helped at the table.

Mr. H. Kessey proposed "The members of the Fighting Forces." The speaker dealt with Japan's preparedness for the past 20 years and their intention to make Australia a Jap. colony. With the assistance of America and Allies Japan would be smashed for all time. He was proud to have members of the American forces present and said the bonds of friendship made would live forever. Also present were Privates M. White, Kendall and K. Moses, Bourke boys who had returned from overseas. The Australian returned men were seasoned soldiers and the man hood of this country had fought on every battle front in this war. He extended a hearty welcome to the returned boys and hoped their leave would fit them for the hard fight to come. In Bourke the V.D.C., Fire Fighting Squad, N.E.S.; and other patriotic associations were doing good work.

Mr. S. Coleman supported the toast.

Private A. Davis responded on behalf of the Fighting Forces and hoped that it would not be long before they were having a victory dinner.

Sgt. Morse (of the American party) also briefly replied, and thanked the Club for their hospitality.

Sgt. Parsons proposed the toast of 'General MacArthur.'

Mr. Hales proposed 'Our Visitors,' and extended a hearty welcome to the visitors; including our American cousins.

Mr. C. Bowen responded. He said the industrialists and their leaders were whole-heartedly behind the Government in their war effort. He wished the Club every success.

'The Press' was proposed by Mr. L. Rice, and replied to by Mr. A. Carmichael ("Western Herald.")

'The Caterer' was given by Mr. Heel and acknowledged by Mr. J. Maroulis.

'The Chairman' by Mr C. Skinner, was responded to by Mr. J. Duggan.

"Auld Lang Syne," "God Save the King," and "The Star Spangled Banner" concluded the dinner, and a conversational ensued for some time.

Orchestral numbers were played at intervals during the evening, and accompaniment to Community items by the following : J. Elder, J. Law (piano), T. D'Arcy (violin), L. Carmichael (Saxophone), and R. Doran (drums).

During the proceedings two recitations were given by Mr. J. Luffman, viz "How He Died," and "Gallipoli."
Mr. Harold Rice sang two songs "Fu the Nu" and "Old Apple Tree" (parody). Mr. A. Honeyman gave "Susie."

Mr. J. Elder contributed ''The Sergeant Major's on Parade," and Privates Moses, White and Kendall gave a character sketch song "Bless, them all" Mr. T. D'Arcy played violin solos. Members of the U.S.A. army contributed company songs.
Western Mail 21 August 1942

COMMEMORATION AT MORVEN
At sunrise the Union Jack and Australian flags were hoisted to half mast and remained there all day. At 10.30 a.m. a procession of State School children marched to the Soldiers' Memorial headed by children of returned soldiers and those of the present forces (in the form of a cross) bearing the school tribute, a larger wreath of laurel leaves finished with a spray of scarlet poppies, tied with navy blue and white ribbon (the school colours), and showing the word "Anzac" in gold lettering. All scholars carried a sprig of laurel to place on the Memorial. The ceremony of laying on of wreaths commenced at 10.50 a.m., the first wreath to be placed was the Honour Board Trustees, by Mr. S. V. Capel (soldier trustee. and president of Anzac Day Commemoration Committee). Following were Diggers, by Mr. R. G. Cumming (president Morven sub-branch R.S.S.A.I.L.A.), Anzac Day Commemoration Committee, Mrs W Mc Laughlin (hon. secretary); Church of England, Mrs. H. A. Douglas; Presbyterian Church. Mrs. L. Robertson; Methodist Church, Mrs. W. R. Smith; Roman Catholic Church, Mrs. G. W. Alliott; State School Committee, teachers and scholars, Master Desmond Schmidt, after which each scholar marched to shrine at foot of Roll and placed a sprig of laurel thereon; Q.C.W.A., Morven branch, Mrs. W. McLaughlin, president-secretary; B.N.A., Morven branch. Mrs. S. V. Capel; A.C.F.,- Morven branch, Mr. R. G. Cumming, president; Morven Fighting Forces Farewell Committee, Mr. M. Smith, president. Many private tributes followed.

After the ceremony of "laying on of wreaths" the names of the fallen of the 1914-18 war, and those of the present one were read, followed by one minute's silence, then the singing of the recessional hymn "Lest We Forget." Next came the repeating of the Lord's Prayer by all, that being followed by the hymn "O God Our Help in Ages Past."

Addresses we're, given by Messrs. H. J. Newitt (who kindly conducted the service in the absence of clergy owing to Easter Day), G. Taylor and K. Moses (returned 2nd A.I.F.)

The addresses were most appropriate and well delivered, each speaker stressing the spirit of Anzac as an example for us all to follow.

The address of Mr. Ken Moses was very stirring and inspiring. He gave a mental picture of the terrible odds our boys were up against early in the war in Crete, Greece, and the Middle East, owing to lack of proper equipment, and pleaded that we do and sacrifice all if need be to send aeroplanes, guns, and all equipment necessary. These sons of Anzacs have the same Anzac spirit of their fathers, and will win through if we back them up. What could be more discouraging to them, that while willing to sacrifice all, they hear of strikes holding back the help they need so badly.

The hymn "Nearer My God to Thee" was sung, followed by the National Anthem, which closed the ceremony at the Memorial.

The Honour Board Rest House was artistically and appropriately decorated, and the Honour Board brightly polished. This service, with the making of the 11 laurel wreaths for the public bodies and churches was given by a hand of the members of the local C.W.A., many of whom are members of the Anzac Committee. The Honour Board after the ceremony presented a striking spectacle, of which the town and district must well be proud, and should truly be able to say the " spirit of Anzac" lives.

At 1 p.m. the Country Women's Association entertained 13 returned men and one member of the Land Army at a dinner at which more speeches were delivered by tho president-secretary (Mrs. E. S. D Mc Laughlin), Mr. Cumming, and Mr. S. V. Capel.

Mr. O'Brien spoke on behalf of the visitors, ably supported by Miss Menzies, of the Women's Land Army.

Community singing was indulged in after the dinner, and the National Anthem brought a successful function to a close.

Cheers were given for His Majesty the King and Royal family, all the fighting services and our great allies.

The Anzac Day Commemoration Committee thank all who in anyway helped to make this Anzac Day what it proved to be-a more enthusiastic and better Anzac Day than ever before.
Charleville Times 30 April 1943

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