Valley pays its respects to the fallen on Remembrance Day

Lt Col Doug Caulfield (r), Sgt Rob Timmers (r) and Sgt Brian Soall (r) place wreaths at the Traralgon cenotaph on Remembrance Day.

Gregor Mactaggart, Michelle Slater, Liam Durkin and Alyssa Fritzlaff

PEOPLE across the Latrobe Valley took pause and paid their respects on Remembrance Day.
Each year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month since the end of World War I, Australians take in a minute’s silence to remember the service and sacrifice of the country’s servicemen and women.
Sunny skies ensured good crowds in attendances at services throughout the region, including Traralgon, Morwell, Moe and Trafalgar.

A crowd of more than 100 paid their respects at Traralgon’s Remembrance Day service.

With COVID restrictions meaning it was unable to stage a service at the cenotaph, the Traralgon RSL played host to a service attended by about 150 people.

The Australian flag flies high at the Traralgon Remembrance Day service.

Traralgon RSL sub-branch president Ron Culliver said Remembrance Day offered the chance for reflection and to honour the memory of the fallen.
“Remembrance Day is a day for us to remember those soldiers who didn’t come back and the families left behind,” Mr Culliver said.
“It is still important as ever today, with conflicts in more recent times such as Vietnam, the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
“This is a significant day for the club … this service is three months in the planning.”
Mr Culliver told The Express it was heartening to see the true meaning of Remembrance Day spread through the generations.
A number of students from Traralgon College were on hand at the service to lay a wreath.
“It is great to see the significance of what Remembrance Day stands for resonating with the younger people,” Mr Culliver said.
Another teenager Madeleine Whiting did a fine job playing The Last Post, while Mr Culliver’s rendition of The Ode of Remembrance and Pastor Randall Green also added to the service.

Sgt Brian Soall (r), Sgt Rob Timmers (r), Lt Col Doug Caulfield (r), Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath, Warrant Officer Ross Scanlon and Flight Lieutenant Neil Fitzclarence at the Traralgon cenotaph.

Following the service, a number of ex-servicemen, including 4th/19 Armoured Regiment (Prince of Wales Light Horse) members Lieutenant Colonel Doug Caulfield (r), Sergeant Rob Timmers (r) and Sergeant Brian Soall, laid wreaths at the Traralgon cenotaph.
“There has been a large elevation in the stature of Remembrance Day through the years and to see many people paying their due respect today is significant,” Sgt Timmers said.

Remembering: Morwell RSL Treasurer William (Bill) Hall and President Wayne Hutchinson.

Morwell RSL held a small service for Remembrance Day this year inside the RSL building.
Treasurer Bill Hall conducted the service.
Those in attendance included RSL members, veterans, police officers, and primary school representatives.

Wreaths: To ensure a COVIDsafe service the Morwell Remembrance Day service was held inside this year.

Ensuring they adhered to COVIDSafe practices at all times, chairs were spaced throughout the room.
Morwell RSL sub-branch president Wayne Hutchinson explained that the service was strategically ran in front of the window overlooking the cenotaph outside.

Memorial: Wreaths were moved outside following the service inside the Morwell RSL.

Attendees were invited to lay tributes on a stand at the front of the room.
After the service concluded, the wreaths laid inside were transferred to their usual place at the cenotaph.

Remember: National Servicemen’s Association of Australia Latrobe Valley and District Sub Branch life member Lothar Schnabl, Moe RSL president Steve Mayes and Moe RSL treasurer Ian Caines. photograph liam durkin

Outdoor patrons at the Moe RSL Remembrance Day service held their own private minute’s silence when the clock ticked over to 11am.
Around 30 to 40 people were in attendance, as a number of wreaths were laid by RSL members and the public to pay their respects.

School Captains: Cody Boys and Jane Wilson represented Morwell Park Primary School.

Inside, an official service was held by Moe RSL members and dignitaries.
Although the service was unlike what is generally seen, Moe RSL president Steve Mayes said the significance of Remembrance Day was not diminished because of the restrictions in place.
“It is a very important day for the Moe RSL and in fact all RSL’s across Australia,” he said.
“We’re quite humbled about the number of people that have turned up.
“Regardless of the generations or age everyone seems to understand what Remembrance Day is all about.”

Respect: Lieutenant Colonel John Hutchison prepares to lay a wreath at Moe RSL. photograph liam durkin

Mr Mayes proudly wore his cadet officer medals from his more than decade-long service at the Newborough depot, and his father George’s medals from World War II.
About 70 people including local school children, community members and former diggers turned out to the Trafalgar RSL to commemorate when the guns went quiet on the Western Front.
The 11am service was held outside with attendees complying by COVID regulations.
The branch went on to hold a midday service at the Thorpdale RSL.

Next generation: Trafalgar Primary School captains Matilda Cane, Eli Smith, Jake Franke and Baxter Hankinson hold a wreath to lay at the cenotaph during the Remembrance Day service.

Trafalgar/Thorpdale RSL president Jim Crowe said “it meant everything” to hold a service after being restricted to 10 people last year.
“Remembrance Day is a time to reflect and remember the sacrifice our soldiers made. It’s most important that young ones remember there were people who spilt blood for this country,” Mr Crowe said.
“We owe a lot to our soldiers.”

Armistice Day: Vietnam vet Bill Kilday with retired warrant officer Paul Altmore at the Trafalgar RSL service.