Big Weekend to Mark Major Gundy Milestone

If you are into Australian history you are in for one massive treat when Gundy Soldiers Memorial Hall marks its 100th year.

The event will be based throughout Gundy and kicks off at the hall on Friday, July 28, with a trip back to the 1950s with the screening of ‘Smiley’, a movie filmed in Gundy and its surrounding district.  Enjoy some soup and freshly baked damper cooked on the campfire and settle in to see the movie which also features some of the kids of the era who continue to call Gundy home.

Saturday has a more solemn start with a military parade stepping off at 9:45am featuring members of Gundy RSL, the Light Horse Brigade and a Defence Force contingent.  The parade will end at the Hall where a ceremony will take place to recognise the history of the hall and the unveiling of a plaque in memory of Ada ‘Joyce’ Bridge whose work and sacrifice during World War II will be officially recognised in Gundy for the first time.

A display of memorabilia will be set up in the hall and a barbecue lunch will be available with the option of sitting in the hall to enjoy or take away.

A guest speaker will present a talk on local history at 1pm and additional entertainment will include music, skits from the era, and live displays of the trades of the time such as the butchers and the bakers.

You can hop on a bus and take a guided history tour of the town that will highlight the story behind the historical buildings.  Horse and buggy rides will further immerse you in the days of yesteryear.

The former Gundy School is now a residence but the owners have agreed to open their doors to the public on the day.

“There will be lots for people to see and do and we are really looking forward to a wonderful event,” said organising committee secretary Anne McPhee.

“It will be interesting for everyone, not just Gundy residents, with so much entertainment that takes in our amazing history,” Anne said.

Memorial Plaque to be Unveiled for Joyce

Ada ‘Joyce’ Bridge came from a very patriotic family and enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on April 8, 1941, and was called up on August 19, 1941.

She was posted to the 2/13th Australian General Hospital (AGH) and travelled to Singapore aboard the Australian Hospital ship Wanganella arriving on September 15, 1941.  Initially, Joyce and nine other nurses were attached to 2/10 AGH at Malacca in Malaya where they stayed for ten days before returning to 2/13 AGH.  Late November, 1941, the entire hospital was moved across the Strait to Tampoi Hill however, due to the swift progress of the Japanese invasion force, most of the hospital staff was evacuated back to Singapore in late January the following year.

During this evacuation, Joyce survived the sinking of the SS.Vyner Brooke but was captured by the Japanese.  At the age of just 34, Joyce was murdered by the Japanese troops whilst a prisoner of war at Bangka island on February 16, 1942.

A plaque in honour of her contribution and sacrifice will be unveiled on Saturday, July 28, during the official ceremonial program of the centenary of Gundy Soldiers Memorial Hall.