|Anzac Cove, Gallipoli|
|Gympie's Memorial Gates and Memorial Park|
|Major General The Honourable Sir Thomas William Glasgow|
The amount of tears I’ve shed when listening to Herbert Marshall’s narration of Paul Gallico’s story - “The Snow Goose” would fill Hinze Dam. The recording, produced in 1948, had pride of place during my childhood.
To this day, each time I read the novella tears flow.
To this day, each time I read the novella tears flow.
Over the years I’ve gifted the book to children of my friends with the belief every child should be familiar with the inspirational tale about Philip Rhayader, the reclusive, disabled artist living in an abandoned lighthouse in the Essex marshlands. The story, which includes Fritha, the shy young local lass who found the wounded snow goose, is one filled with pathos, symmetry, hope and tragedy. Setting aside her timidity, Fritha took the injured bird to Rhayader. As he nurses the injured bird to good health, Fritha pays regular visits. A trusting, respectful friendship between the reticent artist and the reserved child grows day by day.
In 1971, BBC-TV turned “The Snow Goose” into a film, featuring Richard Harris and Jenny Agutter.
Even as I write about this beautiful, poignant story emotion overcomes me.
The Snow Goose, its injuries healed, guides the humble, disabled Philip Rhayader who, in his tiny sailboat, traverses the English Channel - time and time again - selflessly ferrying Allied soldiers to safety during the evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk, northern France, during the early stages of the Second World War.
A few weeks ago I read about Honorế, a young French orphan boy. On Christmas Day 1918, Honoré wandered into Germany’s Bickendorf Base where Aussie airmen were eating. The boy explained his family had been killed at the beginning of the war.
After the young boy stumbled into their base, the Aussies took care of him for a few months. They called him “Henri” because they had difficulty pronouncing “Honoré”.
Tim Tovell, one of the airmen, became close to the boy. Tovell smuggled Honorế back to Australia in May, 1919. He hid Henri in an oats bag, and then in a basket on a troopship headed for Australia. When Henri was discovered the captain agreed to keep the lad’s presence a secret.
Once safely back on Aussie soil, Tim and his wife adopted Henri.
Henri lived in Queensland with his new family for five years.
In 1924 Henri moved to Melbourne. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force, firstly as an office boy at Victoria Barracks, then as an apprentice mechanic.
Aussie author, Anthony Hill tells the heartrending story in his book, “Young Digger”.
Tragically, in 1928, aged around 21 years, Henri was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Inexplicably, in the 1950s, his original gravesite at Melbourne’s Faulkner Cemetery was vandalised. Victoria’s RAFF Association and the federal government restored Henri’s grave in 2009; and a new headstone was inaugurated in honour of Honorế.
Until four years ago I physically attended the Dawn Service.
Along with our mother and grandmother, when my late brother, Graham and I were children, throughout our childhood years we attended the Dawn Service every Anzac Day.
The Dawn Services were held at Gympie’s Memorial Gates, which are the entry to the pathway that leads across to Gympie’s Memorial Park. The Dawn Service is still held at “The Park Gates”.
After school on the eve of Anzac Day, Graham and I would make a wreath from the chrysanthemums that blossomed in our garden. Our wreath would join the others placed at the site the following morning.
Even though, over these past few years, I no longer attend the local Dawn Service here on the mountain in person, I do attend from afar...always in spirit, if not in the physical form.
To me, Anzac Day is a sacred day. I devote the whole day, my way, alone, by choice, in memory of those who have served our country in the many conflicts; those who still serve, and those who will, sadly, have to continue doing so in the future.
Many tears are shed throughout the day...of them I am not ashamed, nor am I embarrassed.
Before the crack of dawn, from when television coverage commences early Anzac Day morning...I begin watching the televised services...from around 4.15 am forward.
Thenceforth, I watch the various services, including the always beautiful, stirring Currumbin Beach Service. The coverage then leads onto the Brisbane’s Anzac Day march. My viewing doesn’t cease at the end of the march.
From there, I watch the live telecast of the emotion-filled Dawn Service at Gallipoli; from there, I then become engrossed by the moving Villers-Bretonneux service in tribute to the Aussie Diggers, along with their mates from New Zealand, who fought on the Western Front.
It is the least I can do in respect of the brave deeds and sacrifices made by so many....
The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux will be opened, this Anzac Day...25th April, 2018....
(Major General The Honourable Sir Thomas William Glasgow KCB, CMG, DSO, VD (6 June 1876 – 4 July 1955) was a senior Australian Army officer and politician. Glasgow rose to prominence during the First World War as a brigade and later divisional commander on the Western Front. Post-war, he was elected to the Australian Senate, representing Queensland as a Nationalist Party member from 1919 to 1931, before appointment as Australian High Commissioner to Canada.
William Glasgow was born at Tiaro, near Maryborough, Queensland, on 6 June 1876, the fourth child an Ulster Scots farmer. He was educated at One Mile State School in Gympie, Queensland, and Maryborough Grammar School. After leaving school he went to work as a junior clerk in the office of a mining company in Gympie. Later he worked as a clerk in the Queensland National Bank in Gympie.
After returning to Australia, Glasgow formed a partnership with his younger brother Alexander, and they took over his father's grocery store in Gympie. On 21 April 1904, he married Annie Isabel, the daughter of Jacob Stumm, the Federal member for Lilley. He tired of storekeeping and bought a cattle station in central Queensland.
In 1903, Glasgow organised the 13th Light Horse Regiment at Gympie. He was promoted to captain in 1906 and major on 6 May 1912. When war broke out in 1914, he was appointed to the Australian Imperial Force with the rank of major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment on 19 August 1914. He embarked for Egypt on 24 September 1914 where his regiment trained until called forward for dismounted service at Anzac Cove.) See more information on the site given above...
Man’s inhumanity to man is never-ending. Humans prove over and over again they’re unable to live in peace; incapable of living in peace.
Thousands of stories emerge from the brutality of war - stories that are simultaneously inspirational and heartbreaking.
Wednesday, 25th April, is Anzac Day
For me, Anzac Day is one of the most important dates on our calendar, if not the most important.
Let us never forget the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Defence Force, past and present – and future.
Members of our Defence Force deserve our respect, moral support and gratitude...as do their families and loved ones for the sacrifices they’ve made, and continue making...
LEST WE FORGET.....
|Currumbin Dawn Service, Gold Coast, Queensland|