Wagin holds first Remembrance Day

TOYAH SHAKESPEAREGreat Southern Herald

About 100 people paid their respects to fallen diggers at Wagin’s first Remembrance Day service held on Monday.

The commemoration began with a march from the Wagin RSL Clubrooms to the war memorial and included former defence force members and 41 members of the Patriots Motorcycle Club.

Wagin Returned and Services League sub-branch vice-president Fred Stevens said that while Remembrance Day focused on WWI and the 27,000 Australians who died, the day was also about acknowledging those who fought in other conflicts including the Boer War, and in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There was not a town in Australia that didn’t suffer some loss,” he said. “The only great thing to come out of war is mateship.”

Mr Stevens also said it was important to understand not only the physical but the mental injuries that returned servicemen and women had.

Patriots Motorcycle Club Albany member Stephen Farmer said 63 people left from Wagin and surrounding districts to fight in WWI.

“Ninety-five years ago at 11 in the morning, the guns stopped and the killing stopped,” he said.

“It’s about making sure that the lessons they taught us at great cost are at the forefront of our minds.”

He said lessons included self-sacrifice, volunteering and allegiance to country.

Wreathes were laid at the service by Mr Stevens, Shire president Phillip Blight, Mr Farmer and fellow Patriots Motorcycle Club member Andy Roberts.

Wagin District High School students Jacob Ritchie and Brittany Bolt raised the Australian flag and other students from the school also attended.

Attendees paid their respects with a minute’s silence, with the Last Post and Reveille sounded before and after.

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