Public ANZAC Day ceremonies may have been cancelled for health precautions given COVID-19, but across Seasons Seniors’ Living communities, we honour this day and all who served and continue to serve.
Stewart (pictured left), now a resident at Seasons Mango Hill, served two years National Service in the British Royal Marines and 24 years in the Royal Australian Regiment. He was in two tours of Vietnam as Sergeant and spent 2 ½ years in Singapore / Malaya.
He says ANZAC Day means “a chance to remember past comrades, reconfirm friendships and bonds established under trying conditions – and pride in having served with men with common beliefs and aims, men who can be relied on whatever the odds”.
Bill from Seasons Sinnamon Park (pictured centre) served in the Australian Army Reserve, Royal Australian Artillary from 1949 to 1959. For him, ANZAC Day also reminds us that we owe assistance and support to those that served, for their wellbeing and that of their families. He says the Day brings a sense of sorrow, a sense of reflection and calmness.
At Seasons Kallangur, although David didn’t serve overseas – he joined the Citizen Military Forces at the age of 18 and was posted to the Queensland Mounted Infantry – ANZAC is significant to him.
“I love to stand between men with lots of ribbons and medals and after the Ode is played and The Last Post is sounded, you look along the ranks and see the eyes of men filled with tears and that makes me feel so proud,” David says. “We will remember them.”
For fellow resident Helen, service was a family affair. In World War Two, she and her husband Les were in the Air Force and her brother Jack was in the Navy – while her father was in the Army during World War One. For her, ANZAC Day is not only a day to remember and honour those that died, but also a celebration of surviving the war and returning safely home.
Up at Seasons Caloundra, Faye (pictured right) describes being in Palestine and Borneo in World War Two, living in an Army tent with a dirt floor and hurricane lantern. She worked in a 600-bed hospital and she says at one time they had 1,900 patients.
“On ANZAC Day I think of my tent-mates and fondly remember the 66 plus years I spent with my husband in N.Z. and Australia. I also recall the boys who were held in the Japanese P.O.W. camp… I recall picking a grown man up in my arms to move him to a different bed, he was so thin.”
At Seasons Redbank Plains, Anne may not have served herself but says ANZAC Day means a great deal to her.
“Many people gave their lives so we could have better countries and better lives to live. They deserve better respect than just one day per year.”