SPECIAL ANZAC DAY: Australian diplomat and musician Fred Smith will address the commemorative crowd at Queensland's latest Anzac Day function, at Wolvi Hall on Tuesday night.
SPECIAL ANZAC DAY: Australian diplomat and musician Fred Smith will address the commemorative crowd at Queensland's latest Anzac Day function, at Wolvi Hall on Tuesday night. Contributed

The longest Anzac Day in Queensland - from dawn to Wolvi

QUEENSLAND'S longest Anzac Day will be a commemoration of war and peace, as Wolvi Hall volunteers make sure we remember the heroes of our history long after the going down of the sun.

Hall president Grahame O'Brien says he is delighted former diplomat and musical performer Fred Smith has been convinced to come to Wolvi to mark the commemoration which see out the day across the region and the state.

"The kitchen and bar opens after 5.30pm and the commemoration starts at 7pm.

"That makes it the latest Anzac Day celebration in Queensland,” he said.

Mr Smith, who will perform at the Civic Centre on Monday night from 7pm, as a special Anzac performance, has agreed also to help out at Wolvi on Tuesday and to play The Last Post on his harmonica, as well as addressing the expected crowd.

Once described as "Australia's secret weapon” in international diplomacy, he served as a career diplomat representing Australia in Boungainville and more recently in Afghanistan,

It was in Uruzgan province that his second career, as a musician, enabled him to write a song about the death of Australian soldier Ben Ranaudo.

That song, "Dust in Afghanistan” was a hit with those serving there and his seond song, "Sapper's Lullaby” has been described on the ABC's Australian SDtory program as "an anthem for soldiers and their families.”

The crowd he will perform for will include members of the Eaton family, an important Wolvi family which includes Anzacs and the people who gave Wolvi its hall.

Gympie's Kerri Eaton says she is proud of her family's contribution in war to Australia and in peace to Wolvi.

"My grandfather, Percy Eaton, built the interior,” she says.

"He had a bullock team and he used to cart logs. The floor of the hall was built out of one tree, which he hauled to one of the local sawmills.

"He fitted out the ceiling as well.

"My father, Sid, (spelled with an 'i')had to leave school at 12 to work the farm when Percy went to war.

"He served in New Guinea and his brother, Sydney (spelled with a 'y') was one of the Rats of Tobruk,” she said.

Gympie Times


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