MOAMA RSL sub-branch is expecting a large crowd for its Anzac Day Dawn Service at Kerrabee Soundshell on Thursday next week, starting at 6am.
Sub-branch president Ken Jones said that would be followed by the main Service at 9am – also at the soundshell.
“We were so delighted with the attendance at both Services last year and are hoping to do even better this year,” Ken said.
“This year we will have Commodore Colin Dagg as our guest speaker – he is currently director general of the Royal Australian Navy’s engineering division,” he said.
Following the Dawn Service there will be a Gunfire Breakfast at the Moama RSL club and after the 9am Commemorative Service the club will stage a screening of the movie They Shall Not Grow Old.
That will be followed by a lunch service and from 3.20pm the annual Anzac Day football match between Essendon and Collingwood will be played on the club’s big screens.
“From 1pm-4pm we will also be staging a two-up game on Anzac Terrace in the Moama RSL club and everyone is invited to attend.”
Ken said the sub-branch will start selling its Anzac Day badges from today and will have a stall at Woolworths in Moama, at the RSL club and possibly another one or two sites.
He said the money raised by badge sales each Anzac Day provided vital funding for the work RSL sub-branches do with returned servicemen and women and their families.
“We encourage everyone to stop at our stall and buy something from the volunteers there; it is supporting such an essential cause,” Ken added.
Ken also said there would be another major event on the local RSL calendar for the Korean War, Australia’s forgotten war, in May.
‘‘Even early in World War I it had become very obvious a lot of the troops returning home, and the families of those who had lost people in the fighting, would need a lot of support,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s why, in 1916, some returning soldiers founded the Returned and Services League of Australia.
‘‘Despite the deaths and the horror there was a strong and growing sense of national pride in what our troops had done and a lot of towns started building memorials — there were 60 completed before the war ended.
‘‘Today there are more than 2000 in small towns and big cities around Australia and sadly we need to keep building them as our troops continue fighting in wars and conflicts.
‘‘So the role of the RSL is as important today as it was when first set up all those years ago.’’