The Bundaberg District Women Veterans (previously known as the Bundaberg & District Ex Servicewomen’s Association) are looking forward to three events this week, as the community commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Pacific in World War Two.
“We wanted to provide the opportunity for the Bundaberg community to say “thank you for your Sacrifices and Service” to our few remaining local World War Two veterans,” President Jennifer Waldron said.
“This may well be the last chance for us to officially commemorate and remember what these men and women did during the Second World War to secure Peace and our Freedom.
“The Women Veterans association was formed by WW2 women veterans so we were very determined, even with COVID-19 restrictions, to ensure we acknowledge this significant anniversary, as we only have a handful or so left in our ranks.”
President Jennifer Waldron and Secretary Leone Wilson OAM were assisted by Angella Hillis CSC and members of Bundaberg Women Veterans, in organising the events.
On Friday 14 August at 4pm there will be a Sunset Service at the Servicewomen’s Memorial at Lions Remembrance park in Takalvan Street in Bundaberg.
This will be followed by a Victory Dinner with local WW2 veterans as guests of honour on Friday night.
On Saturday morning at 9.30am there will be a Service of Remembrance at the War Nurses Memorial Park, corner Takalvan and Bourbong Streets in Bundaberg.
At the same time the Peace Bell at the War Memorial Bell Tower at Christ Church Anglican Church will be rung 75 times, to mark the 75th anniversary of the declaration of peace by then Prime Minister of Australia Ben Chifley who, on 15 August 1945, at 9.30am said ‘the war is over’.”
A special part of each service will be the playing of an Australian song, VP 75 – Lest We Forget, by members of the Caledonian Pipe Band.
It was written by an Australian composer, Mark Saul, to remember the Mildura Pipe Band that enlisted as a group in WW2, the only Australian community pipe band to do so.
The members of the Mildura band were captured and taken as prisoners-of-war to Changi.
As part of this week's services, a commemorative booklet will also be produced for each veteran.
“We plan to provide each WW2 veteran with a commemorative booklet showcasing the events in pictures, even if they are unable to attend,” Jennifer said.
“Those we know of will receive a booklet, which we hope will show them all that Bundaberg Remembers Them and what their generation did to defend Australia.”
Three new bronze plaques will also be dedicated at the services – one marking the 75th Anniversary and service of nurses, the second naming all Bundaberg/Burnett Nurses who served overseas during the Second World War and the third paying tribute to the men and women of the Australian Defence Forces who provided care and comfort.
The plaques have been laid and can be viewed at any time at War Nurses Memorial Park.
The sunset service and service of remembrance organised by the Bundaberg District Women Veterans are open to the general public, but all attendees must comply with COVID Safe regulations.
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