Visit to Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience in Mackay
On 27 July, our National Servicemen's Combined Central RSL Sub Branch Rockhampton left Rockhampton with 14 members and 9 Army Cadets and one of their officers to travel to Mackay to view the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience in Mackay. We left at 8.30am and moved north to rest area at Waverly Creek, about half way to Mackay. We met up with Capt. Paul Murphy (AAC) , CO of 125 Regional Cadet Unit, who had decided that if we could take some of his cadets, he could take a bus load of another 24 cadets to share this amazing experience.
(The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is an touring interactive exhibition from the Australian War Memorial commemorating the Centenary of Service. It visited Mackay 25 - 31 July 2016.)
We all had a smoko break and got to know each other, then boarded our respective buses to continue our journey north. On arrival at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre we were greeted by some very attentive staff from the ANZAC Experience people who sat us down and gave us a briefing about what to expect and what we would see.
Well, I, for one, was totally unpaired for what I saw. This was a totally mind blowing visual and audio presentation, set in a period well before my time. I'd heard so many different stories about World War One but this sat me on my backside with the power and representation of what our forebears had endured in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Western Europe during that period of confrontation. It covered so many different fronts and so many different periods of the First World War so many different outcomes.
After viewing the display, I sat and contemplated why it all had happened. After all, it was called "the War to End All Wars." But I came to the realisation that my forebears went overseas in those early days to serve their country and make us proud of their efforts. We should all be proud to salute their heroic self-sacrifice.
That evening, all of the cadets joined in the discussion about the display and it was a very sobering experience for them and our sub-branch members.
Next day, we traveled to Waverly Creek once again where we had a lovely lunch. The cadets who participated were presented with certificates of participation in recognition of their attendance at this wonderful event. Then it was back on the road to Rockhampton where we dispersed to our homes.
This event was organised by our secretary Bob Leicht who has the great knack of organising things. Our thanks to Bob, to Trevor our bus driver and many thanks to the State Library of Queensland and R.S.L. Queensland for their funding to help us conduct this trip.
Guest bloggers: Basil Soper and Tania Ricks
Niles Elvery, Regional Coordinator, Q ANZAC 100, State Library of Queensland