The weather here is beautiful, Fine and warm but not too warm. I missed the dawn service yesterday but did make it down to the mid morning service. My Dad never missed a dawn service in all the years from the end of WW2 until his death. I always think of him at this time. He believed that his service in the air force was the defining act of his life. Perhaps he was right.
Ours is only a small community but like all communities in the country we come together on this day to remember. There were grand marches in the cities and the big towns. Ours was small in comparison and we marched from the jetty to our small shrine, led by some local lads in WW1 uniforms, on horses.
The nurses wore the capes I made and this gave a dash of colour.
The parade was led by a small group of local ex soldiers
but there were plenty of others in the crowd all proudly wearing their medals and a sprig of rosemary..
Our service included reading from diaries, the first about "Bill the Bastard" the war horse from that time and tales of his exploits.
Then our nurses read accounts from the diaries of the nurses who served in WW1, very telling. It is not often that we have heard the voices of our women folk who served.
Lastly came the account of Dick Martin, a Noonuckle man who enlisted as a New Zealander. Aboriginals were bared from joining the services but over 800 still managed to enlist.
Joshua Martin is the great nephew of that man and he still lives on Stradbroke Island with his family. His great Uncle was killed in action in 1918. It is also a good thing that our aboriginal people are recognised and included. Of all those that enlisted in WW1 from Australia, and all were volunteers, more than half their number were either killed or wounded.
Around us life went on with people picnicking on the beach.
The war planes flew over on their way to the city parade.
South passage had sailed up the bay to be with us.
The trumpeter played the last post, just as beautifully, if not better than some in the city.
And when I looked at the floral tributes that had been laid I saw that the majority were made up of native flowers.
I looked on the island Facebook page this morning and found that one of our residents had taken this image of our nurses at the dawn service. I think this is rather special.
Image by Leigh Purdie