ANZAC Day 2021Anzac Day Yinnar 2021

ChurchillAnzac Day Churchill 2021

An estimated 130 people turned out for ANZAC Day in Churchill despite the possibility of showers. Yes there were one or two, but between the showers the sun shone and the ceremony continued.

COVID restrictions were in place and the crowd was very respectful in observing them.

Don George, senior Vice President of the Morwell RSL was the MC.

The Rotary Club of Hazelwood, Don and several others ensured the program was organised. The Churchill & District Lions Club cooked the gunfire breakfast which was hungrily devoured by those present following the ceremony.

Don began by setting the scene for ANZAC.

“We are gathered here today to remember the courage and sacrifice of all members of the Australian Defence Force. But especially those men who became known as the first ANZACs.

When those men landed at dawn on April 25, 1915 on the Gallipoli peninsula under heavy enemy fire, they could not have known that 116 years later Australians in every community, town, and city would gather together to pay their respect to the sacrifices they made. On that first day many paid the supreme sacrifice, for on the first day 16,000 ANZAC’s landed at Gallipoli. 2,000 were killed or wounded. For the first ANZACs It was a baptism by fire as none of the ANZACs had seen combat before.

That small cove and beach was not heard of by many Australians living at home in 1915, and little did the troops know at the time that their landing on that little cove, now known as ANZAC Cove, would go down in Australian history, for at dawn on April 25, 1915 a legend was born, that legend is ANZAC.

The courage, loyalty, honour, and mateship that the first ANZACs showed in WW1 is what shapes the Australian defence force today.

This year we celebrate the 100th year of the formation of the Royal Australian Air Force or RAAF as it is known.

The RAAF was formed on March 31, 1921, and is the second oldest independent Air Force in the world. Military aviation came of age in World War 1, first with air ships then planes, and it was at this time that the Australian Flying Corps was formed. The king then gave consent to use the word Royal so on August 13, 1921 the RAAF was formed.

Members of the RAAF have served in many parts of the world in conflicts and on peace keeping missions, and humanitarian aid missions.”

Members of the Australian Air Cadets and their staff turned out in their uniforms, to be the flag attendants.


It was a welcome return to our day of remembrance and although the weather turned cold and drizzly, it did not dampen the Anzac spirit.

Anzac Day Yinnar 2021

The dawn service was attended by almost 200 people. Our local ex-serviceman Captain Luke Townsend conducted the ceremony with the usual formality.

Breakfast was supplied to the attendees by the Yinnar and District Lions Club. Tea and special coffee in the RSL hall once again served by our stalwarts Jenny Smethurst and Sonia Williams and enjoyed by all.

The main parade set off at 9.20am, led by the Caledonian Pipe Band, it was great to see all the young marchers from the local schools.

Once the march reached the Cenotaph, the formalities were again conducted by Captain Townsend with assistance from local Vietnam veteran Kevin Burrows. Kevin read a brief eulogy for Reg Selwyn, Yinnar’s last World War 11 veteran who recently passed away.

Wreaths were then laid by various groups and individuals.

Captain Townsend then spoke of his war experiences and also about visiting Villiers-Bretonneux with his family.

The closing ceremony was very moving with the inclusion of bugler Tina Thompson from the Morwell Citizen’s Band.

Despite the miserable weather and the COVID restrictions, the day was a fitting tribute to our service men and women and the sacrifices they have made.

 The 1st photo is of bugler Tina Thompson and Captain Luke Townsend at the Cenotaph. The 2nd one is of the march.

The complete ANZAC Day report ran to four pages - Download the complete issue for the rest of the supplement (Hint - the ANZAC Day supplement is at the end)