April 21, 2015

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli and there are plenty of ways to commemorate the event and celebrate the ANZAC spirit in and around the Hawkesbury.

A dawn service will be conducted by the Windsor and Richmond RSL sub-branches at McQuade Park, Windsor on ANZAC Day. A temporary memorial will be placed in the area of the park nearest to Hawkesbury Valley Way (adjacent to the lake, facing the west). Veterans will assemble in the car park near the bowling club and proceed to the memorial at 5:35am. The service will commence at 5:45am. At the conclusion of the ceremony the traditional ‘Gun Fire Breakfast’, free to those attending the service, will be served at Windsor RSL Club. Parking might be tricky so allow plenty of time to get there and please be patient when departing. Contact Leon Walker (02 4572 7768) for more information and watch for further announcements in local newspapers and radio.

Before the day, head to the Hawkesbury Regional Museum, Windsor for their new exhibition, The Great War 1914-1918: Hawkesbury Heroes. Learn about the experiences of some of the 600 Hawkesbury men and women who served in WWI.

Many of the personal objects on display – such as uniforms, medals, letters and equipment – are on loan from private collections and family members of soldiers, and have never been displayed to the public before.

The Hawkesbury Central Library in Windsor also has a thought-provoking program of commemorative events in the lead-up to ANZAC Day, including:

  • Screening of the movie Kokoda (2006) on Thursday 2 April, 10am and 6pm. Those 15 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Free, bookings essential.
  • Researching WWI soldiers on Tuesday 14 April, 6:30–8:30pm. All you need to know about researching a WWI soldier with Michelle Nichols and Jonathan Auld. Free, bookings essential.
  • The Hawkesbury Home Front Talk, Hawkesbury Family History Group Meeting. Wednesday 8 April, 10.00–11:30am. How was the Hawkesbury community affected during WWI? How did families deal with the losses? Hear some extraordinary local stories. Free, no need to book.
  • Letters from the Front display on Saturday 11 April – 31 May during library opening hours. Accounts of the sacrifice, courage and compassion between some who never returned from WWI and others who were forever changed.
  • A Camera on Gallipoli display on Saturday 11 April – 8 May, during library opening hours. In 1915 soldier and surgeon Sir Charles Ryan captured the Australians’ experience in Gallipoli via a series of candid photographs (an Australian War Memorial digital presentation).

For more information about ANZAC anniversary events at the Hawkesbury Museum and Library, see www.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.

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