2018 a significant Anzac milestone

Emily AceSouth Western Times
Bunbury RSL sub-branch president John Gelmi inspects Anzac Park’s fresh new look.
Camera IconBunbury RSL sub-branch president John Gelmi inspects Anzac Park’s fresh new look.

Anzac Day 2018 will mark a poignant commemoration in our nation’s history, remembering Australia’s involvement in World War I.

This year is especially significant, as it marks 100 years since the armistice ending the fighting on land, sea and air was signed on November 11, 1918.

Bunbury’s commemorative services on Wednesday will feature an extra splash of colour, after the Bunbury Returned and Services League sub-branch and City of Bunbury Parks and Gardens team worked together to plant 164 annual plants and 20 rose bushes in preparation for the day of remembrance.

The team also performed maintenance work on parts of the lawn and removed the bird aviary from Anzac Park.

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Bunbury RSL president John Gelmi said the changes meant the memorial would be “picture perfect” for the day of observance.

“It’s a very important celebration and I think it should look like this all the time,” he said.

“I think it is important to make something like this a focal point – it’s a peace garden and that is the beauty of it.”

Mr Gelmi said Anzac Day was a time to honour the service and sacrifice of our original Anzacs and the generations of Australian service men and women after them.

He said the centenary gave families, schools and communities an opportunity to start important conversations to ensure a unifying legacy for future generations.

“It is a milestone and, of course, it is continuing with the service people of today, the men and women who are out there defending and serving our great country,” he said.

“I think we do get wonderful support from Bunbury and the surrounding areas on our commemoration days, whether it be Anzac or Remembrance Day.

“It is wonderful to see the older and younger people turn up and of course the school kids who are the future of it.”

Mr Gelmi said the first year of the centenary in 2014 attracted a crowd of about 8000 people and expected this year’s turn out to be just as big.

A parade will march to the memorial at 5.50am on April 25, where Brigadier Geoff Hand AM RFD will give the dawn service address.

A morning service will be held at the Graham Bricknell Memorial Music Shell at 11am.

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