On Monday evening the 20th February the AGM for the Canowindra RSL Sb Branch took place at the RSL room of the Canowindra Ex-Services and Citizens Club, the results of the election is as follows:
Patron – Ellen Brown, Trustees – Ellen Brown and Noelene Liccioni, President - Michael Harrison, Vice President – David Cullane, Second Vice President- Ian McIlvain, Secretary – Christine Sampson, Treasurer – Ian McIlvain, Social Committee – Bob Bates, Publicity Officer – Jenny Weaver, Pensions Officer and Welfare Officer – Cowra Sub Branch, Hospital and Moyne Visits – Ken and Jill McDonald, Auditor – David Bigg, Solicitor – Garden and Montgomerie.
Following the Election of Office Bearers, Chairman Michael Harrison extended his sincere thanks to Tracy Clements for her 3 year term as Treasurer and the hard work she has contributed to the RSL Sub Branch, Michael also went on to thank all members of the Committee for their involvement and support over the past twelve months, and looks forward to working to improve and enhance the communities knowledge and understanding of the function of the RSL Sub Branch
On 19th February 1942, 75 years ago Darwin lay in ruins, following the horrific bombing by the Japanese. World War II came to the Australian shores, in the first of 64 air raids from the Japanese; Area Combined Headquarters at Darwin disregarded early warnings of the impending attack from a Catholic missionary on Bathurst Island and a naval coast watcher on Melville Island. Air raid alerts were not sounded until just before the first wave of aircraft appeared over Darwin. The pilots of several American fighters on patrol were taken by surprise, with most shot down. In and around the harbour, ships, wharves and parts of the town suffered great damage. Three Allied naval ships and five merchant ships were sunk and another ten ships were damaged. Most of the 280 or so people killed that day were victims of this first wave, mainly Allied service personnel, merchant seamen and wharf labourers in and around Darwin harbour.
The first attack ended 42 minutes after it began. There was a lull of just over an hour before the second wave arrived. This time the military airfield was the main target. Six RAAF servicemen were killed and nine aircraft on the ground were destroyed. Most of the base’s buildings were destroyed or damaged, Tasmanian, Brian Winspear can still picture the sun glinting off the bombs like confetti as hell rained down on the city. Civilians in the township also died during the attacks, including several killed when the Post Office and a bomb shelter next to it received a direct hit.
Veterans and politicians alike attended the service commemorating the day. The ceremony was attended by Australian leaders including Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, as well as dignitaries from America and Japan.
In his speech, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove talked about the fear of an invasion of Darwin from the Japanese, during World War 11 and Australia’s need to put its security above all else.
“Our resistance at places like Kokoda and Milne Bay are the stuff of legends,” he said.
“And the peace that was eventually secured came at a high price to our nation, our neighbours and allies. And we do not take it for granted.
“That is why, 75 years on, we remember the city of Darwin and all it went through.”
Lest We Forget
Publicity Officer Jenny Weaver – Canowindra RSL Sub Branch