By Tania Phillips
For the first time this year cenotaphs across
the Southern Downs will see full public remembrance services when people gather – in a
Covid safe way – to remember those who made
the ultimate sacrifice during World War One.
Remembrance Day – Poppy Day – the 11
November, the day of the armistices following
the bloody conflict of “the War to end all wars”
For a hundred years now Australian’s have
been marking this day, remembering – Lest We
And while Covid led to a very different Anzac Day in 2020, RSL Sub Branches and military groups across the Southern Downs and
Granite Belt are hoping for something much
closer to the usual service for Remembrance
Day (with Covid protocols in place of course.
“We think we will be able to hold the remembrance day service the same as we normally hold it,” Warwick RSL sub-branch President John Skinner said.
“We’re introducing something new this year
in that we’ve invited all the High Schools, including Scot’s College and the Cadets to take
turn about to provide speakers for Remembrance day rather than us looking for War Veterans or some other high-profile people to give
the address. This is a move towards involving
younger people and this year hopefully it will
be someone from Warwick State High.
“This will become a permanent thing for
remembrance day, Anzac Day will still stay as
our military personal. The past seven or eight
years we’ve managed to bring people from
Canberra with ranks as high as a Major General. But for remembrance day we are going to
ask the high schools for speakers.”
Mr Skinner said the Sub Branch wanted to
get younger people involved.
“We’ve had so many good speakers from
the High Schools at the Dawn Service for a
number of years we thought it’s time brought
them into the Remembrance Day services –
give them a bit more to do,” he said.
“We’re hoping it will interest other high
school kids to come along and hear their own
The Warwick Service is timed to start at
10.40pm at the new dais – with two undercover
marquees and social distancing.
Martin Corbett President of the Stanthorpe
RSL Sub Branch said they would hold two services this year.
“We will be having one in Stanthorpe of
course and we are also going down to Texas to
do one down there,” he said.
“Texas have a sub-branch that is connected
to us. Due to their lack of numbers they decided to join our sub-branch about four years
ago and it was decided this year, especially
with the Covid 19, I’m going down with four
other people and we’re going to run the Texas
memorial day at the same time as Stanthorpe.”
He said the it was nice to get back together.
“Anzac we had the light up the streets – that
was very successful,” Mr Corbett said.
“Veterans day in August we were disappointed in the lack of numbers because of the
restrictions, the restrictions have now been
eased. My deputy president will be running
the whole thing in Stanthorpe – we have our
normal cannon being fired off at 11am. We’ve
got people to play the last post – it’s a normal
ceremony but we are still going to follow the
Covid rules – we will have hand sanitizers there
– people have to sign in and leave contact
numbers in case of contract tracing.”
Both services will start at the tradition
Meanwhile the Naval Association of Australia Stanthorpe division will hold their own
ceremony at the Navy remembrance wall following the main one at Stanthorpe on 11 November according to president Norm Gale.
“On the 30 October we’re setting up a window display at the big shop that use to be a newsagency between Target and the Reject shop in Stanthorpe,” Norm said.
“The agent has given us permission to take it over the shop from 28 October to 10 November. We’re going to have a window display of military memorabilia. As well as setting up a display we will be putting posters on the window and we’re putting up tables outside with all the stock on it.”