99 years on, we will remember them

Eden’s returned servicemen and women are busily preparing to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops in Gallipoli, as part of ANZAC Day on Friday.

The day’s commemorations begin with the dawn march and service.

March participants are asked to gather at the corner of Bass and Imlay Streets at 5.30am, before stepping off to the Eden cenotaph 15 minutes later, and arriving for the 6am dawn service.

The traditional breakfast at RSL Hall, catered for by the Eden Lioness Club, will follow, with another service to be held at Bupa Eden at 9am.

Veterans will then assemble on the corner of Chandos and Imlay Streets at 10.30am to march through the town, and back to the cenotaph for the 11am service.

At the conclusion of the service, lunch will be served at RSL Hall, with two-up commencing at 1.45pm.

Eden RSL secretary Steve Mahoney said this year’s commemorations would honour not only those who have returned from service, but the soldiers who continue to serve our country.

“At the moment, there are also around 3300 Australian troops on active service in areas of danger, and we would also like to bear them in mind this ANZAC Day,” Mr Mahoney said.

“This year marks the 99th anniversary of Australia’s first commitment to the protection of the rights and standards we all enjoy today.

“Our initiation into battle at Gallipoli was not successful militarily, but it did establish the standard of determination and bravery our forces are known for to this day.”

Mr Mahoney said ANZAC Day provided a good opportunity for World War I veterans’ families to contribute any information, photos and stories they may have to the memorial walkway project, which the RSL hopes will be completed in time for the centenary of ANZAC next year.

He said the walkway will feature plaques dedicated to World War I soldiers who died in action or of war-caused wounds, and invited their families to offer financial support by purchasing one of the plaques.

“Organisations including ESSCI, Eden Marine High School, the Eden Killer Whale Museum, Eden Lioness Club, Eden Men’s Shed, Australian War Memorial, and federal and state governments are contributing to this project,” Mr Mahoney said.

“One of the real hallmarks of the ANZACs is working together, and we hope that the project will leave Eden with a memorial to be proud of for the generations to follow, ensuring the continuation of the traditions we value so much and ensuring the sacrifices of our servicemen and women are properly recognised.

“An important aspect of that is that the high school is involved in doing a lot of research for it, under history teacher Gary Berman.

“All the plaques will have QR codes linking to web pages with further information, and the students will be doing a lot of research and organising the data for those.”

Mr Mahoney said the RSL hopes to have as much work as possible completed for next year’s centenary.

He said that once the World War I aspect of the walkway is completed, work would continue with the addition of all conflicts involving Australia in the years since.

Families of servicemen and women who would like to contribute to the memorial walkway project are asked to contact Mr Mahoney on 6496 1522.

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