REMEMBERING: Veterans Ken Paterson and Jen Paterson, Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and veterans Peter McKellen and Bill Rose at the Vietnam Veterans Day memorial service at Cannonvale on Friday.
REMEMBERING: Veterans Ken Paterson and Jen Paterson, Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and veterans Peter McKellen and Bill Rose at the Vietnam Veterans Day memorial service at Cannonvale on Friday. Contributed

'They played their part so honourably and well'

ABOUT 25 people paused to remember those who fought in Vietnam at a service in Cannonvale on Sunday.

Veterans were joined by politicians, councillors and members of the general public for the memorial service at the cenotaph.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen, state Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan, Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and councillors Jane Clifford and Ron Petterson were among dignitaries at the service

Airlie Beach/Whitsunday RSL Sub-branch deputy president Bill Rose said while the crowd was "a little thin”, it was still a good day.

"I'm happy with it. Those who wanted to be there were there,” he said.

"It was good to see a number of (RSL) members.”

Held on the 53rd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan where 108 Australian and New Zealand troops held off 2500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers, Mr Rose said the day marked an important occasion.

"They played their part so honourably and well,” Mr Rose said.

"It's always important we educate the younger generation.

"They should know what happened, when it happened and why it happened.”

Both the Australian and New Zealand national anthems were sung as part of the service, with Airlie Norton and Jeni Borellini doing the honours respectively.

Mick Patullo played the bagpipes while the wreaths were laid.

Mr Rose said there was a good turn out at a get-together after the service at the RSL rooms at the Reef Gateway Hotel, with locals joined by visiting veterans.


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