In the lead-up to November, the Club focussed on the Remembrance Day Commemoration, 11/11/2023. Club members were active at Forest Lake, Inala and Richlands Shopping Centres selling badges. Once again the sincerity of district residents was underlined by the generosity of the community, raising funds for veterans in need.
The Commemoration Service was well attended by the community, commencing at 10:40 am under the stewardship of Master of Ceremonies, Steve Ford, President of Forest Lake & Districts RSL Sub Branch. The special guest address by Lt Col Shaun Richards included the experiences of the mothers of sons who were lost in the First World War, touching on the grief of family members over generations.
Remembrance Day Official Guests.
A fitting recital “In Flanders Fields” by Sahana Sathananthan 2024 College Captain St Johns’ Anglican College and Prayer by Pastor Warren McKenzie preceded the Wreath Laying Ceremony.
Wreaths were laid by guests including George Churchward, Lt Col Richards, Cr Charles Strunk, councillor for Forest Lake Ward and Lions Club Forest Lake. Following the ceremony about seventy members and guests adjourned to the ‘Club House’ for a barbecue lunch.
On 5/11/2023 George Churchward’s family celebrated his 100th birthday at the Western HQ RSL Sherwood. The function was attended by family and long-term associates of George, including RSL Club members. A group photograph of George with Brian Robertson and Alan Greig is worth a comment. All are veterans, longstanding members of the club and Forest Lake residents.
George received his call-up to the Army during WW2 and in 1942 was posted to Wau, New Guinea which was under bombardment by the Japanese Imperial Forces. Life membership to the RSL was conferred on George in 2022. Brian Robertson was conscripted into the British Army in 1955 and posted to the Gordon Highlanders. He served in Cyprus during the “emergency”. His book A Gordon for Me is an account of his time in Cyprus. Alan Greig joined the RAAF as a Wireless Air Gunner on Avro Lincolns. He trained as a navigator and completed 67 missions into Malaya attacking insurgents. He also crewed on C130 Hercules aircraft before taking on a Logistics role in RAAF HQ. Alan was the contributor to this column for 10 years.