The Manning area, at least Wingham, was blessed with good weather for their very important Anzac weekend functions.
Husband John and I were part of the activities that took place both Sunday, firstly with the Anzac Sunday Church Service held at the Uniting Church on Wingham.
Rev Darrell McKeough, Wingham RSL Sub- branch chaplin and Uniting Church minister, led the service which was attended by about 30 persons, including a number of Sub-branch personnel and regular congregation members along with former church members Dale and Mark Harper, who were travelling through on their way north.
Once again the church was decorated with items pertaining to Anzac including an Anzac panel quilt, medal and rug, all the lovely work of Del Dennis.
Unfortunately Sub-branch member Terry Gould couldn't make the service, however RSL Sub-branch president Ron Irwin read Psalm 124 and Del Dennis read a moving poem, The Young Boys, written by local Pam Oke. Eric Richardson OAM, assisted by wife Mave Richardson AM PSM recited The Ode.
A warm welcome was extended to all after the service to join in morning tea which was served in the church hall.
The Sunset Service was held at The Bight Cemetery on Sunday at 4.30pm, and this year honoured the services of the late Dr Ross Smith Hayter, who had given service in Papua New Guinea as a sergeant and a member of the 10th Australian Field Ambulance (AIF) along the Kokoda Track during the Second World War.
The service was to have been led by Terry Gould, but was replaced at the last minute by Mave Richardson who capably filled in for him.
This emotional service was attended by 40 people and included three members of the Lighthorse Re-enactment Group, Scottish piper John Andrews and bugler Paul Gallagher with Genevieve Blenkin, granddaughter of the late Dr Hayter, giving a moving tribute of his army service and family memories.
The Ode was delivered by Wingham RSL Sub-branch president Ron Irwin, who also placed a flowering camellia bush at the grave as The Lament was played by piper Andrews.
A number of photos were taken by family and friends attending as a memory of the special service.
The morning dawn fine and was free of drizzle until it was all over.
A good crowd of locals and service personal were present at the 2022 Anzac Day Dawn Service which was held at the Wingham Town Hall. A short march by service personal preceded the service which was once again an emotional one.
The Master of Ceremonies on this occasion was Brian Willey and Ron Irwin, Sub-branch president and they invited locals and service organisations to lay their wreaths. Ron then invited John Rooimans to lead the gathering in the singing of our National Anthem which concluded the service just as dawn was breaking.
After two years with COVID restrictions it was an overwhelming crowd of marchers and onlookers who participated in Wingham's main Anzac Day service which started off from a new venue, the covered car park area behind Wingham Services Club, in sunny conditions.
The flag bearers from Wingham High School led the march followed by Manning Valley Pipes and Drums, ex servicemen and women, community service organisations, SES, Rural Fire Brigade, Scouts, Red Cross and many school students from the local schools and three historical jeeps came up the rear conveying older veterans unable to make the uphill walk under the direction of parade commander Tony Johnson.
Master of Ceremonies was Brian Willey With Rev Darrell McKeough giving the Prayer for the Fallen before members of Kantabile sang We Are Australian. Wingham High School captains Miranda Frendin and Mia Polley gave the 2022Anzac Commemoration Address.
This was followed by the hymn I Vow to thee My Country led by Kantabile Chamber Choir and the public. The Act of Remembrance was given by high school captain Mia Polley followed by a large number of persons and organisations laying wreaths at the Cenotaph as piper Tom Kite played the Lament.
The Ode was recited by Wingham RSL Sub-branch president Ron Irwin before the Last Post and Rouse was played.
The New Zealand National Anthem and Australian Anthem was lead by Kantabile with concluding remarks given by Ron Irwin with the Benediction by Rev Darrell McKeough given which wound up the memorable service.
Wingham RSL Sub-branch gratefully acknowledges the support given to this special day by the Wingham Services Club and Wingham Rotary Club.
During our drive around Wingham early on Sunday morning hubby and I were disgusted to see once again that some senseless individuals had been at it again - adding some sort of detergent to the Apex Waterfall in Central Park opposite the primary school which resulted in huge foam blobs emerging from the structure.
It seems that they take great delight in doing this and causing problems to the water system.
A lot of time, money and volunteer labour went into the construction of this icon and I am sure the culprits who did this wouldn't like their own swimming pool or such to be treated in this way.
Time these vandals woke up and learnt to respect the town and the public area which is for the benefit of all.
John and I attended the launch of the 2022 Group 3 Rugby League season held at Wingham Services Club on Friday evening.
Following the meal, Mick McDonald from the Manning River Times interviewed a representative from each of the teams represented and I must say I was most impressed with the way each young man spoke about what the coming season held for them and their team and the way they conducted themselves.
Well done to everyone for an impressive evening as I am not into football.
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