Margaret River RSL oversees bumper Anzac Day memorial

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River RSL bugler Ken Topperwein plays The Last Post.
Camera IconMargaret River RSL bugler Ken Topperwein plays The Last Post. Credit: Warren Hately/Augusta-Margaret River Times

More than 500 people packed Margaret River’s Memorial Park for Monday’s dawn service, with a strong turnout to the main parade just before midday.

The Margaret River Returned and Services League memorial featured local veterans as well as teams from the State Emergency Service, St John WA, the Margaret River Senior High School emergency service cadets and others, including the local re-enactment company honouring Australia’s Light Horse division.

Also making the trek to Margaret River this year were 24 Vietnam veterans from 5th Battalion’s Bravo Company, who chose the region for their reunion and to commemorate Anzac Day.

Organiser Bill Sanday told the Times the men served in the Vietnam conflict from 1969-70.

They chose Margaret River for their biennial reunion as a chance to sightsee the famous region and also fly their company banner in WA.

Margaret River police Sergeant Simone Taplin led this year’s keynote address.

Sgt Taplin said Anzac Day was a chance to honour past sacrifices and to acknowledge the mental toll on veterans.

“Our soldiers who returned found the world to be different, leaving many with mental scars and not just physical ones,” she said, “with wounds we did not know how to heal or treat, and resulting in decades of residual trauma for them and for their families.

“It is with this we remember the tragedy that war can cause and have grown as a community to provide support and care to one another.

“In the darkest days, there is always a glimmer of light found in the mateship, camaraderie and loyalty. This at its very core is the essence of what it means to be Australian.”

Anzac Day commemorations were also held in Augusta, with this year’s service reduced due to COVID-19.

In Margaret River, residents enjoyed a gunfire breakfast at the District’s Club and played two-up after the 11.30am service.

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