The Remembrance Day Service held in Goondiwindi witnessed a strong turnout from the community, with attendees ranging from past Service Men and Women to the 147 Australian Cadet Unit Goondiwindi Cadets. The event also drew participation from Goondiwindi Councillors, Jason Watts, Susie Kelly, students representing various Goondiwindi schools, and the Girl Guides. The poignant ceremony, presided over by Goondiwindi RSL President Bill Brasington, featured a Catafalque Party formed by the Cadets, wreath-laying at the Cenotaph, and a special appearance by Bruce Gilbert with his Light Horse and the Lone Charger.
Bill Brasington took center stage, delivering a heartfelt speech that underscored the solemnity of Remembrance Day. He began by acknowledging the immense sacrifices made by Australians on the Western Front in France and Belgium during WW1. Bill emphasized the lasting impact of the war, highlighting the widespread pain, loss, and the significant number of lives lost. Reflecting on the tradition initiated by King George in 1919, Bill spoke of the enduring 2-minute silence at 11 am on November 11th, a tradition that has persisted for over a century. He concluded by urging attendees to remember the 103,000 Australians whose names adorn the Australian War Memorial Wall of Honour, emphasizing the toll on both those who fell and those left behind.
The Reverend Paul Andrianatos, a member of the Goondiwindi RSL Sub Branch, also addressed the gathering, encouraging reflection on the human cost of war. He traced the evolution of November 11th from Armistice Day to Remembrance Day and drew parallels to the Beatles’ song “With a Little Help from My Friends” to illustrate the substantial support received by England in both WW1 and WW2. Reverend Paul called for remembrance not only of those who paid the ultimate price but also of the servicemen and women who returned scarred, physically, mentally, and emotionally. He urged attendees to extend a helping hand to veterans and their families.
In a poignant conclusion, Reverend Paul offered a special prayer, emphasizing the importance of never forgetting the sacrifices made by those who served. The Remembrance Day Service in Goondiwindi served as a poignant reminder of the ongoing duty to honor and support those who have defended the nation.