Joyce Foster from Newcastle at the Gympie Remembrance Day service.
Joyce Foster from Newcastle at the Gympie Remembrance Day service. Renee Pilcher

Tearful service honours heroes

“THE spirit of Anzac is here”, a tearful Joyce Foster said after laying a poppy to honour the dead at yesterday’s Remembrance Day Service at Gympie’s Memorial Lane.

Around 200 people attended the ceremony marking the formal end to World War I when the armistice became effective, and to stop and remember the sacrifices of men and women in war.

Mrs Foster from Newcastle was visiting relatives in Gympie and said the service was the most touching she had ever attended.

“It was just beautiful,” she said of the simple but moving ceremony.

“I was so impressed with the lane – it’s better than the Canberra War Memorial – you can feel the love in that remembrance wall.”

Gympie’s youth were well represented with students from Gympie State High and James Nash State High schools, as well as Cooloola Christian College captains Megan Thor and Jacob Hawksworth who spoke about the meaning of Remembrance Day.

Megan reminded those attending that for many soldiers involved in the Great War, the hug from a loved one as they boarded their ships was their last.

“We remember them all, every single one of them,” she said.

Jacob reflected on what each soldier gave up in order to serve his country.

“…time with their family, the innocence of their youth…”

Gympie RSL Sub-Branch president Ivan Friske said it was important to pause and remember the service, suffering and sacrifice of servicemen and women in times of war, the suffering of their families and the people currently in active service.

Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne and his wife Dulcie attended the service, as did Member for Gympie David Gibson and Legacy Brisbane’s CEO Steven Blinkhorn.

As Gympie resident Ellen Wedlock placed poppies on the six memorial pavers that marked the service of six of her family members, she paused over Richard Rasmussen’s plaque.

“One didn’t come home,” she said.

Gympie Times

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