Wreaths laid on Remembrance Day.
Wreaths laid on Remembrance Day. GREGOR MACTAGGART

Cannonvale pauses to remember them

FACES young and old featured in the crowd as Cannonvale paused for Remembrance Day on Sunday morning.

This year's service held special significance as it marked a century since the signing of the Armistice, marking the end of World War I.

A crowd of about 300 people ventured to the Cannonvale Cenotaph to pay their respects and were silent as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month arrived.

The poignancy of the minute's silence was complemented by an outstanding rendition of the Last Post from Bryce Fraser (along with the traditional rouse) and the distinctive sound of bagpipes.

The national anthems of Australia and New Zealand rang out through Bicentennial Park as a consistent, yet gentle breeze ensured the Australian flag flew proudly, both at half and full mast during the service.

Airlie Beach-Whitsunday RSL sub-branch president Rod Davies, who was member of the 5th/7th Infantry Battalion and master of ceremonies for Sunday's service, spoke about the true meaning of the day.

"We remember those soldiers who paid the ultimate price from the battlefields of World War I through to more recent battles,” Mr Davies said.

"Today is the day we pause, and remember them.

"It was wonderful to see so many people here this morning attend the service.”

Bill Rose, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Airlie Beach-Whitsunday RSL and recited the Ode to the Fallen, said how the fallen were remembered was important.

"When you remember those you have lost, don't remember them as old veterans,” he said.

"Remember them as young soldiers who fought for our country.”

Cannonvale State School students Tyson Gosney, Isabelle Kratz and Zavier Johnson all took part in the service.

"Zavier and I recited In Flanders Fields,” school captain Tyson said.

In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, has become synonymous with the sacrifice of the soldiers who died in WW1.

Isabelle, also a school captain and Year 6 student, delivered an apt reading of a poem penned by American professor Moina Michael.

"I recited We Shall Keep The Faith,” she said.

"It is an honour to speak on a day like this.”

A former veteran in the crowd summed up when he said "it is vital we never forget and this day is something we need to continue to pass on through the generations”.

RSL chaplain Stuart Grice, who performed the Prayer of Remembrance, The Lord's Prayer and A Prayer for the Defence Force, was presented with a special plaque by the RSL after what was his final service before a move to Victoria.

Wreaths were placed at the Cenotaph, near to where the tribute to fallen soldiers, a rifle with diggers helmet, was located.

Following the service, many headed to the Airlie Beach-Whitsunday RSL room at the Reef Gateway Hotel to catch-up and enjoy a cold drink or two.


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