Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Images of ANZAC Day Sydney

Images of ANZAC Day Sydney

Below are photos of Indigenous service in Redfern.
Wreath laid at Indonesian Consulate
Main parade Sydney 
An opinion piece in todays SMH by a solider who is 101 old and served in Merauke.

Commemoration ceremony in Redfern. Many Aboriginal soldiers fought for their country but it took a long time for their sacrifices to be recognised.

Pastor Ray



Because of the security surrounding the Dawn Service Ash could not get in to lay wreath and could not wait so laid it at gate of Indonesian Consulate which is very apt.

Main parade Sydney

Although there were many banners mentioning PNG, I took photos of  a number that mention Dutch New Guinea or places in West Papua (missed a few).   

An opinion piece in todays SMH by a solider who is 101 old and served in Merauke.


We're only paying lip service to Anzac Day while shops are allowed to open

Once again, Anzac Day is here. Across the nation, politicians are wrapping themselves in the Australian flag and sombrely attend Anzac Day services. 
The truth is for me, as long as Anzac Day remains just a half day of restricted trading for thousands of retail workers, they're only paying lip service to the sacrifice of the thousands of Australians the day seeks to honour.

Despite being 101 years old, I'm still pretty sharp and look after myself in my own home in Bankstown. I'm a life-long retail worker and a World War II veteran.
During the war I left the shop I worked in and joined up. I was a sergeant in Dutch New Guinea fighting the Japanese as part of the 52nd Australian Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment. I remember those days with little nostalgia or romance.
It was a hot, muddy hell-hole and full of mosquitos. After we arrived and set up our guns, we were desperately filthy, but had no bath and not much clean water.
Unfortunately for my mates and I, it wasn't long before the war found us at the Marauke airfield where we were stationed. The Japanese would fly in so high that our Kittyhawk fighters couldn't reach them fast enough before they'd drop their bombs and leave. We copped it over and over.
Another time we ran into some Japanese barges on the river and all hell broke loose. We opened fire with our machine guns and rifles, and a bloke, who was very bravely firing from the roof threw two grenades which destroyed one of the barges and forced the other to retreat.  When the shooting stopped and we went to congratulate him, we found that he'd been shot.
But the times I remember most were probably less dramatic – moments when we were able to help people, like the young illiterate private named Ernie. I helped him read a letter from his mother, and then helped him write one back.

Life-long retail worker and a World War II veteran: Bert Collins

Life-long retail worker and a World War II veteran: Bert Collins. Bert Collins served in the 52nd Australian Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment. 

When the war ended I went back to the same shop and worked in retail until I retired. But every year on Anzac Day we closed for the day to honour those who served.  That's' how it should be.
On Anzac Day, the nation seeks to honour people like myself, the mates we lost and the extraordinary sacrifices they made for our country. But those national efforts feel half-hearted to me, because these days as soon as the sacred marches are over, the shop doors are flung open again and it is back to work for our country's retail employees. 
On the one day we set aside to remember not only our own war dead, but more than 76 million other people who died in the First and Second World Wars and all the wars since, there is only a half day retail trading restriction in place.
We used to close for a whole day, but at some point politicians decided to value commerce over honour which means retail staff are now given just half a day off. A society tells you what it values most by what it does rather than what it says. Our veterans, people who gave their lives for their country willingly, should be recognised and remembered forever, but it's not too much to ask that they get one full day's remembrance every year.
The values we honour on Anzac Day, those which we cherish, are more important, more valuable, than half a day's commerce.  That's why it's time to return retail trading restrictions to the whole of Anzac Day.
The mates I lost, fighting for this country and those who fight for it now, deserve better. For our nation, Anzac Day should never be "business as usual."
Bert Collins is a World War Two veteran.


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