ANZAC Day 2023 - Churchill

Churchill Scouts laying wreath

April 25, 2023 dawned clear and bright and developed into a magnificently warm sunny day.

The Civic Space at the Town Hall was the setting for the ANZAC Day service for Churchill which was very well attended.

The Rotary Club of Hazelwood in partnership with the Morwell RSL and Churchill Lions shared the organisation and staging of the event.

The two masters of ceremonies were Don George and Peter Townsend. It was particularly special to have Don in his usual capacity as he hasn’t been very well.

Richard Henshaw of Hazelwood Rotary opened the proceedings.

The Requiem was read by Peter Townsend. This was followed by the floral tribute laying.

Guest speaker John Henshaw spoke of his experiences as a Vietnam Veteran who was conscripted and served in Vietnam in 1969.

Don George
Don George
Peter Townsend
Peter Townsend
John Henshaw
John Henshaw

The L.V Aero club arranged a fly over of three planes to honour the day.

Our local school youth leaders then delivered their speeches introduced by Martin Cameron MP and Melissa Ferguson South Ward Councillor.

Kurnai Junior Campus giving tribute

Kurnai Junior Campus Vice Captains Robert and Zoe

“Hi, We are student leaders of the junior campus of Kurnai College. We have been asked to reflect upon the importance of ANZAC day.

We are taught about ANZAC day and what it represents each school year. As students we know it is a day to honour those who fought on Gallipoli. It is a day to remember those who served in wars. Each year we have been taught a little more until it became clear how important reflecting on ANZAC day is.

Today we reflect on the service of all people who have worn our country’s uniform. We are here to recognise more than one hundred thousand Australian service men and women who lost their lives in military operations carried out for our country.

ANZAC day has been remembered in many different ways since 1916. At times, ANZAC day featured rallies and recruiting campaigns for the army. It then became a day of commemoration with businesses closed as a mark of respect. In 1927 this day became a holiday in all states. In 1942 the threat of Japanese air attacks impacted commemorations.

I’ve heard and read stories of my relatives risking their lives to steal eggs and then having the swallow them raw to avoid being caught whilst being prisoners of war, gas poisoning and the horrors and pain of war. Something that stood out was how happy and grateful they were to receive letters and parcels from loved ones, and of course gracing the other soldiers with the humour of Australians and give thanks to the opportunities and privileges we have today, which is owed to those who have fought and are still fighting for us all these years.

These facts make me realise just how significant stopping to give thought about our shared history is. It has been an honour and a privilege to speak on behalf of my peers today. A day to remember is as important now as much as it ever has been.

Thank you, lest we forget.”

Churchill North Primary School Students

Churchill North Leaders Tanjim and Shilah shared their thoughts thus.

“It is remembering the ones that we have lost, the voices that have fallen silent and those who carried their physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives. It is about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for future generations.

Anzac Day is a time to remember the service and sacrifice of troops in conflicts of the past. We take time to ponder the horrors of war and give thanks and be grateful for the peaceful times we enjoy. Lest we forget.”

Anz 2023 Churchill Cps

Churchill Primary School leaders Ruby, Molly, Tyson and Jack, who was absent, wrote these thoughts.

ANZAC Day means a lot to us since we pay our respects to the soldiers who have fought for our country that we know and love today. We wish to take a few minutes out of our day to honour the soldiers who have fallen for our country. Not only do we want to pay our respects to the soldiers who have already served for our country but we want to pay tribute to the ANZACs who are currently training and fighting this very day. Lest we forget.

Lumen Christie Primary students laying wreath

Lumen Christi leaders Blake B. Jack, Kia and Blake R shared their words this way.

Blake B. “ANZAC Day is a special day for me because two of my great grandfathers fought in World War 11, and my Uncle Lance has nearly twenty year service in the army.

On ANZAC Day we should remember all the people who fought in wars and served but we should especially remember the people from Churchill and district as well as their families.

Recently I was proud to help plant a Lone Pine in the Lumen Christi school garden.”

Jack. “For me, ANZAC Day is a day to honour those who lost their lives during World Way 1.We should remember those who fought and returned completely different. ANZAC Day commemorates those who served in WW1 especially soldiers and nurses.”

Kia. “To me ANZAC Day means reflecting and remembering those innocent and brave soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who fought and died at Gallipoli in aid of world freedom.”

Blake R said his without notes.

Prayer led by Cathie Halliwell

Cathie Halliwell from the Co-Operating Churches in Churchill said a prayer for the day.

Don George then solemnly read the Ode to the Fallen.

A young lady played the bugle for The Last Post. This led into the minutes silence to remember before Reveille was also played.

As ANZAC stands for both Australian and New Zealand service people, both National anthems were played to accompany Sue Townsend as she sang.

Morwell Citizens Band, with solist playing the last post

The many thank yous were expressed before the crowd was invited to partake of the gunfire breakfast supplied by the Lions with ANZAC biscuits and tea and coffee served by the Rotary ladies.

It was a very solemn occasion. You could feel the reverence of the crowd as they quietly listened and participated. It was also a social occasion with many stopping to eat and talk and catch up with those they hadn’t seen for years.