Thursday 18 August 2016, the 50th (our 12th) commemoration of the Battle of Long Tan was held under cloudy skies and cool weather with well over 250 veterans, their families and friends attending our morning service.
It was the third service without our good mate Peter (Davey) Crockett who had passed away only weeks prior to the 2014 service. Dave was the inspiration and driving force behind the creation of our memorial. His family attended and no doubt Davey was watching on from above. Dave’s good mate Victor (Vic) Slockee was our emcee again, quipping that he stills feels like he’s only the stand-in for Dave.
Father John Darbyshire conducted a reading and prayer while Bob Sayce Col Rtd of 4RAR gave an insightful presentation as the guest speaker. Many former serviceman joined representatives from the RSL, DVA, Legacy, South Tweed Sports and Twin Town Services Club in laying wreaths during the ceremony.
Others to lay wreaths included Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot, State Member for Tweed Geoff Provest and Councilor Caroline Byrne representing Tweed Shire Council. St Joseph’s Primary School Teacher Debbie Tietzel and her wonderful children’s choir sang two songs including a stirring rendition of ‘Advance Australia Fair’.
Following the service those gathered enjoyed a luncheon and a few beverages. Stories were shared and a few tears shed amongst the smiles. Many offered their backing vocal talents (some good, some not so good….) supporting our entertainers ‘Singing Pete” and Terrina. Importantly, mate-ship and camaraderie was the order of afternoon.
You can view every photo from this 2016 Vietnam Veterans Day service here and if you would like a copy to email (low resolution) or print (high resolution) please EMAIL your request HERE If your wondering how a Bowls/Sports Club and the Vietnam Veterans Day arose you can read the blog ‘Remembering them’(written in 2011) that details how it came to that inaugural event in 2005.