Diamantina Shire centenary activities

Recently, Richard Cooley from the Diamantina Shire Council at Bedourie, sent State Library an update of their Centenary activities, along with some wonderful photographs of Anzac Day and Remembrance Day 2015.

Guest blogger: Richard Cooley - Funding and Economic Development Manager, Diamantina Shire Council

Two mayors and Commander of the HMAS Diamantina

Two mayors and Commander of the HMAS Diamantina

Since the workshop last year  we have held our 100th Anniversary of Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout at the border of the two shires, Diamantina and Boulia.  Both services including the two Mayors and Lieutenant Commander Iain Hutchins and  the riderless horse, who lead the dawn service march along with the horses at the start of the march with Vaughan Johnston MP on the far right of the photo.

The Riderless Horse

Our expectations were blown away when 500 people from all over the nation came to our dawn service and gun fire breakfast atop the Lookout, overlooking the desert. Along with all those in attendance were our most important of invited guests, the Commanding Officer HMAS Diamantina Lieutenant Commander Iain Hutchins, and four of his  fellow  crew.

Crew of the HMAS Diamantina

Crew of the HMAS Diamantina

The main service saw the school children lead the march, along with the crew of HMAS Diamantina, and the much talked about and prized support for the day - our horses, who came to represent the 8,000 Wallers who served the nations from the Shire.

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

Anzac Day ceremony at Vaughan Johnston Lookout

There they were, 102 horses ridden by  men and women from all over the Far West region. They rode the three kilometres from the road up to the Lookout, and on their arrival the main march commenced. Even the Lookout's name sake, Vaughan Johnston MP, rode in the first line of horse with Counsellor Garth Tully, the Deputy Mayor of the Diamantina.

Vaughan Johnston MP and Counsellor Garth Tully, the Diamantina Shire Deputy Mayor leading the ride

Vaughan Johnston MP and Counsellor Garth Tully, the Diamantina Shire Deputy Mayor leading the ride

A day to live in everyone’s memories for ever.

Then onto Remembrance Day where in both towns we opened the Shire's 100th Anzac Day Memorial Walls simultaneously.  Both towns had good turnouts and in Bedourie all of the Shire school children were in town for the annual school swim camp and they all participated in the service.

Our next project is the production of a history, both in book and electronic form, which will then be available to deliver the Diamantina Anzac history to the nation.

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