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June 22, 2024 10:32 PM

Time to remember the sacrifice

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BY JEM ANSHAW

Remembrance Day 2020 in Muswellbrook will be marked without the usual services according to the Muswellbrook RSL Sub Branch vice president Tim Seymore, but it will not make the day any less significant.

“This year we are just going to have a very simple wreath laying ceremony at the cenotaph at 11 o’clock in the morning, we will just have the last post played and the ode,” he said.

“Then we’ll move to the Muswellbrook cemetery where we’ll commemorate, not only Remembrance Day, but it’s the 30th anniversary of the rededication of the Commonwealth War Graves portion of the Muswellbrook cemetery.”

Consideration had to be given to the RSL Sub-Branch members when planning Remembrance Day formalities, as it did with Anzac Day and Vietnam Remembrance Day.

“What we have to remember is majority of our current Sub-Branch members are in that demographic that could well be affected,” Mr Seymore said.

“We decided as an executive we didn’t want to put any members of risk, noting it’s outdoors, noting the risk is small but their health is paramount to us.”

Members of the public are welcome to join the service at either the cenotaph or the Commonwealth War Graves next week.

When asked how canceling all their annual commemorations has impacted the Sub-Branch members, Mr Seymore said while they have missed getting to come together they have taken pride in seeing the Australian Anzac spirit shine.

“When we had the light up your dawn ceremonies where people individually came out (on Anzac Day) you could hear across Muswellbrook bugles playing,” he said

“In the street where I live, we had several people out there at dawn who played the Last Post.

“It’s great to see how many people hold that dear to them.”

One Muswellbrook resident who has been one of the loudest and proudest advocates for all that the RSL Sub-Branch does for veterans and widows in the community is Greg Cole.

 Mr Seymore shared the news that Mr Cole has had to step down from the role of president which he has held since 2003.

“He has been such a stalwart for veterans, for the wider community, an egalitarian through and through.

“You could come to the Sub-Branch and been a private for one day or a general and you are all the same in Greg’s eye and it is such a great legacy to have left.”

Mr Seymore said the sub-branch exists for veterans and for veteran welfare and has extended an open invitation to any former Australian Defence Force personnel to attend the Sub-Branch meetings.

“I know there’s a number of people working out in the mines and associated industries that have been former ADF personnel.

“We’ve had some younger fellows come along of recent times and one of them said to me it’s just great to feel that comraderie again.”

The Muswellbrook RSL Sub-Branch meets every second Wednesday at the Muswellbrook RSL Club, with the next meeting being at 7pm on November 11 when they will vote for a new president.

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