Anzac Day means mateship, family commitment to service, remembrance and reflection say Newport RSL members.
Lieutenant Colonel Henry (Harry) Marr joined the British Army in 1979 before joining the Australian Army in 2004.
His service has taken him all over the world, including Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Bosnia, Cypress, Falkland Islands, Canada, Germany, Corsica, Gibraltar and the Scottish Outer Hebrides.
“It’s that common bond that people have because they share certain circumstances, sometimes quite adverse, sometimes quite friendly,” Lieutenant Colonel Marr says of mateship. “It creates that group identity.”
He said family commitment to service was also a big part of Anzac Day.
“My father served, my brother served, my father’s brother served – who’s not only my uncle but is also my godfather – and his son who’s my cousin is still serving like I am,” Lieutenant Colonel Marr said.
“I think Anzac Day [is] similar to Remembrance Sunday, noting I did 24 years with the British Army.
“We have this minute’s silence when you can contemplate and think and I normally think about a young man called Wayne Tabard.
“Wayne and I joined together but sadly he lost his life in the Falklands War and I think of all the things I’ve done that he’s missed.
“He was killed on the 8th of June, ’82, along with 48 other crew and soldiers.
“Anzac Day, like Remembrance Sunday, is a time to think of reflection, remembrance, commitment to service and mateship.”
Wing Commander Jude McCann, based at RAAF Base Williams in Laverton, joined the air force straight from school and is now in her 36th year of service.
“It’s not just us joining the military – it’s your family, partners, spouses, children as well, travelling the country,” she said.
“This Anzac Day, especially, has got extra significance for the air force.
“The air force this year is celebrating its 100th birthday.
“We remember those who have served before us especially, those currently serving, and we’ve probably all got some mates and work colleagues who may be serving overseas this Anzac Day or this year.
“But we also remember and honour the air force personnel and especially, this year, 11,100 air force personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone before us.
“I also think of the traits of the Anzacs … of self sacrifice and courage … and service.”
Lieutenant Colonel Marr will speak at the Newport RSL Commemorative Service at the Newport cenotaph at 1pm on Anzac Day, Sunday, April 25.
Friends of Williamstown RSL will hold a dawn service at 5.45am at the Williamstown cenotaph
Everyone is invited to attend Newport RSL for refreshments, food and entertainment from 2pm.
People are asked to bring a mask and maintain social distancing.