Kokoda Day Commemoration 2016

On November 3rd, 2016, the Walkway commemorated the 74th anniversary of the raising of the Australian flag at Kokoda village. This event marked the successful advance by the Australian Army back across the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges to the Northern New Guinea coastal plain. Those attending the commemoration were also aware that the following month would represent 75 years since the beginning of war with the Empire of Japan, following sudden attacks on Pearl Harbour and other US, British, and Dutch bases.

The official welcome was given by Mr John Haines AM, Chairman of the Walkway and NSW State President of the RSL. The Walkway was fortunate in having a Catafalque Party provided by the 4th/3rd Battalion – Royal NSW Regiment. Prayers were lead by the Reverend Paul Weaver, Anglican Chaplain of Concord Hospital. The following month Paul retired from the chaplaincy, after some 14 years of valued service to the Hospital and this Walkway. The Walkway Board wishes him well in retirement.

Music, an all important contribution to a fitting commemoration, was once again provided by the NSW Corrective Services Band, and solo tenor Kent Maddock sung Sir Hubert Parry’s beautiful old hymn, “Jerusalem”, as well as the “Lord’s Prayer”.

A video compilation, in the form of a Kokoda Day Reflection, was projected onto a large screen. This audio-visual presentation traced the course of the Pacific War from the initial Japanese attacks in December 1941 through to the re-taking of Kokoda village and the historic flag raising which occurred on November 3rd, 1942.

The 2016 Kokoda Day Address was delivered by Professor, the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO. Professor Bashir noted that the year 1942 was critical in the history of modern Australia. Having been thwarted at the Battle of the Coral Sea in their plan for a seaborne assault on Port Moresby, the Japanese, Professor Bashir said, opted for an overland route along the rugged Kokoda Track.… Read the rest


ANZAC DAY SERVICE Friday 22nd April 2016 The theme for this years service focused on the important role played by Australian military medical & nursing services.

The paradox of war is that armies whilst trying to kill each other have their medical staff at work in the fields relieving pain, combating diseases, healing wounds & reconstructing damaged bodies & minds for both sides.

The Anzac Requiem was presented by former NSW Governor Hon. Dame Marie Bashir, who being a medical professor, stressed the benefits of professional military services.

Colonel Bronwyn Wheeler, Colonel Health Headquarters Forces Command provided the ANZAC address & outlined the role by Australian medical personnel, especially since the Korean & Vietnam wars & currently in remote regions such as Iraq & Afghanistan. Her full address

As usual MC John Gatfield directed the service with dignity & aplomb. Firstly introducing Walkway Chair John Haines who welcomed guests; Concord General Manager Dr. Tim Sinclair who read a scripture passage; RSL National President Rear Admiral Ken Doolan RAN (retd) who delivered the ode; Chaplains Rev Paul Weaver & Fr. Graeme Malone, who delivered prayers; NSW Corrective Services Band with their musical & song arrangements.

Mayor Angelo Tsirekas thanked those already mentioned along with diplomats Scott Strain, Consul Gt Britain; Kristine Knapp & husband C.G. USA; Sumasy Singin C.G . PNG; Mrs Elif Kutlus Turkey & Caicos Oreopoloulos Greece.

He also noted the presence of Daryl McGuire MP representing Minister for Veteran Affairs, Craig Laundy MP Reid, Jodie McKay MP Strathfield, John Sidoti MP Drummoyne & the Catafalque Party from 29th Operational Support Battalion Mounts.

A highlight of the service was a screening of the changing nature & reflections of military medical techniques over the years along with a dressage of patient & nursing used in WW11.

Finally it was noted that Anzac Day 2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of Fromelles, when over 5,500 Australians became casualties, 2000 were killed & 400 captured.… Read the rest