The Military Museum at Karen Woods’ home was open over the weekend leading up to ANZAC Day.
There was an Open Day for the community on Saturday 23rd April, which was very successful, as people were able to visit throughout the day. Morning and afternoon tea was provided. This gave folk an opportunity to sit down and discuss what they had seen or just chat with one another.
Sunday 24th April was a significant event especially planned for those people who had served in our Armed Services – Members of the Goondiwindi RSL Sub Branch and the 49th Battalion – one Member being Dave Brennan, who organised for his mates to attend all the ANZAC Day Services in Goondiwindi and partake in the ANZAC Day March to the Cenataph.
Guests included the 147 Australian Cadet Unit Goondiwindi Cadets, the 11thLight Horse Darling Downs Troop as well as the Goondiwindi Regional Councillors, with Mayor, the Honourable Lawrence Springborg AM officiating.
Other guests were Goondiwindi & District Vehicle Restorers’ Association, some of whom brought their military vehicles.
Karen’s family and friends attended, with many on her team – “Team Woods” – helping with ground preparation of the paddock next door for a horse demonstration, catering and serving lunch and setting up the military museum consisting of a variety of displays relating to some of the conflicts that involved Australian, New Zealand and English Armed Forces. There was also a focus on those people who had served with the National Service during the 50’s and 60’s, as well as those who have been serving with the Peace Keeping Forces from 1947 until the present day.
Adding great interest to the day were all the military vehicles being brought along to the event, especially a Bren Gun Carrier originally owned by Karen’s husband Graham, who had been restoring it before he died. Karen sold the carrier to Neale Dixon, who then completed it’s restoration and Neale was able to drive it in the March on ANZAC Day, with Peter Russell as a passenger.
The program for the day started with a demonstration of “skills at arms” performed by two members of the 11th Light Horse Darling Downs Troop, Bruce Gilbert and Richard Howard and ably assisted by Guy Pitman who gave a running commentary about each skill being carried out. This was followed by Ian Greenland and Luke Tanner playing the bagpipes and then a speech made by Mayor Lawrence and finally Grace said by Reverend Paul Andrianatos before lunch, which had been cooked by Quentin Chapman and Darren Sills.
During lunch, Luke Butler sang a number of songs he had written himself relating to ANZAC Day and he was joined by Peter Woods and together they contributed more music adding to the meaning of what our Service men and women must sacrifice in their service to their country.
Special thanks must go to Cameron Makim, who willingly permitted the horse demonstration to be held on his property next door to Karen’s home. Cameron’s father, Tom served as a Light Horseman during World War 2 – his photo was above the entrance to the WW1 and WW2 Museum at Karen’s home during the event.
Karen also wants to acknowledge all her helpers and family support whenever she plans to open her military museum, as well as those people within the community who have generously donated uniforms, badges, medals, photos and stories to her museum.