Kooweerup remembers

Jason Finn was the piper.

The Kooweerup community banded together to remember those past and present at the Anzac Day dawn service held at the cenotaph. Forty servicemen were honoured in the Kooweerup and district avenue of honour.

President of the RSL John Camilleri led proceedings for the day and said he was honoured to be involved in such an important day.

“I think we owe this to those who lay down their lives for us, it’s a privilege and an honour for me to be involved today,” he said.

“The community also deserves a lot of credit, because they’re right behind us. I’m especially happy to see children come along, it’s brilliant.

“The peace we enjoy today, I feel that we don’t really know what was put in by our servicemen, until we become servicemen and we are involved in such conflict.”

Former Vietnam Veteran Bob Krog was involved in building the new cenotaph and rebuilding the RSL, a team effort according to Mr Krog.

While the cenotaph is a special place to come and remember those who fought for our freedom, it also provides a great learning ground for the next generation.

“We designed it a certain way, so the local schools could come down and sit the kids down, with the teacher explaining the war and conflict,” he said.

“And it’s not all glory, it’s very sad, but the kids come back quite frequently and voluntarily, because they want to be a part of the service.”

Mr Krog says that while it is important to take time to remember, veterans often get together to celebrate the day.

“You have that little solemn bit in the morning where you remember, but then you go out and laugh and tell funny stories and just celebrate that you are alive and you survived it.

“That’s certainly the way the veterans look at it, this is the ultimate though, having everyone here today.”

Former RSL president Ron Ingram and Lyn Ingram arrived at 4am to begin the day’s proceedings. Mr Ingram was marching in the parade, while Ms Ingram led the production to cook bacon and egg muffins for attendees.

“It’s a beautiful day beginning with the march from Rossiter Street up the avenue of honour and into the cenotaph,” said Ms Ingram.

Darren Newcombe is a regular attendee of the dawn service. This year he has brought his two grand-daughters Jada Wells and Letty Lia, to teach them about the true meaning of Anzac Day and to recognise the life of their great-great grandfathers.

“It’s important to come here and pay my respects to my grandfathers,” he said.

“And it’s great to bring the girls here to teach them all about it.”