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Remembrance Dayat Bourke and beyond

Bourke veterans Victor Bartley and Pete Smith after the service. Photo TWH

Remembrance Day at Bourke was celebrated throughout the outback again this year as Outback Radio 2WEB broadcast the service throughout its extensive network to flood-affected communities.

Due to rain, flooding, and closed roads many people were unable to attend Remembrance Day last Friday – but they could tune into the service provided through 2WEB’s various outlets.

According to 2WEB’s Operations Manager David Sharp, there are now many ways for outback listeners to tune into 2WEB, including on the originals 585AM service, through FM transmitters at Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Coonamble, Nyngan and Wilcannia, through the internet service provided by 2WEB and via the Outback Radio website.

“We broadcast Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day services every year, but in recent years with flooding and COVID restrictions, 2WEB has been a valuable way of people ‘attending’ these services remotely,” Mr Sharp said.

“It’s not quite like being there, but it’s the next best thing – people can tune into the services wherever they are and remember our fallen – just like all those people who can readily attend a local service”.

This year’s Bourke Remembrance Service was an all-round community affair with 14-year- old Trae Wilson reading the Ode to the Fallen, Bourke High School student Robyn Gillon providing the Welcome to Country, Pat Canty and Koby Lollback reading poems, and Bourke Shire Council General Manager, Leonie Brown, delivering the Prologue.

Remembrance Day in the Ridge

Lydia, June, Arthur and Rev Kurt Langmead laying a wreath at Lightning Ridge. Photos TWH

Rata Jackson

November 11 is universally associated with remembering those who had died in the First World War, a conflict which mobilised over 70 million people and left between nine and 13 million dead.

Nearly one-third of these casualties had no grave. The allied nations chose this day and time to commemorate their war dead.

In 1997, Governor-General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation formally declaring Remembrance Day and urging all Australians to observe a one-minute silence at 11am on 11 November each year to remember those who died or suffered for Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.

This past Friday, 11 November, at 11am, Lightning Ridge residents gathered to pay their respects in a small, emotional ceremony with Al Giddings leading the commemoration.

Pastor Kurt Langmead, from the Lightning Ridge Community Church, opened in prayer.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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