As a tourist on Flinders Island, I couldn’t miss out on the ANZAC Day Remembrance parade and service.  Earlier in the week we had met a few veterans who had flown in from interstate as guest of their old wartime mate and Lady Barron pilot, Gordon Rorison.

ANZAC Day - Flinders Island Cenotaph
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ANZAC Day wreaths at the Cenotaph on Flinders Island

ANZAC Day 2012

by Roger Findlay

The dawn service took place at Emita. I am told it was quite cool with a strong breeze off the sea. Our excuse for non-attendance was our consideration for the local wildlife (wallabies and wombats) that would be out on the dark roads.


 

The bakery seemed to be the best place to be before the parade. Hot coffee and cakes were going down a treat with those that had risen early. Medals were proudly displayed on the chests of our heroes with some having served in more than one campaign. Wives were having fun too. They were rightly proud of their men regardless of the extra inches around the waist and the lack of hair!

ANZAC Day - Veterans
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Some of the Flinders Island veterans gather at the hotel on ANZAC Day

32 Squadron RAAF Flight Lieutenant

Once a giant of a policeman arrived on the scene, those parading started to group. Flight Lieutenant, Shane Rowe, of the 32 Squadron had flown in from RAAF Sale the day before along with his wife, Mandy, Kerry and Pete (a former islander). With the Flight Lieutenant Rowe at the front and the school children at the rear, the march was a short one as was the service in the Furneaux Arts and Entertainment Centre.

ANZAC Day - Flinders Island Parade
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32 Squadron RAAF Flight Lieutenant Rowe leads the Flinders Island ANZAC Day parade

At the end of the service, the Flinders Island choral group had a great time with the usual Roll Out the Barrel, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and White Cliffs of Dover. I didn’t want them to finish as they were enjoying it so much. (Proud Islanders, I thought).

ANZAC Day - Flinders Island Choral Group
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Flinders Island Choral Group performing on ANZAC Day

Whitemark Hotel: ANZAC Day Tradition

The Whitemark Interstate Hotel was the next port of call. ANZAC Day would be incomplete without a beer. The absence of Two Up surprised me but everyone appeared to be having a good time regardless. We didn’t stay for lunch but we did return in the evening. New friends along with Jeanette and I, found bottles of good quality wine reasonably priced as were the huge meals prepared by the jovial Irish chef in a cosy dining area. I was informed that the hotel accommodation was cheap, clean and comfortable.

ANZAC Day - Whitemark Hotel, Flinders Island
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Whitemark Hotel Flinders Island, scene of post-march celebrations on ANZAC Day

On a day where Lest We Forget was at the fore, we will never forget this special ANZAC Day in Whitemark and those that we met.

ANZAC Day - Lest We Forget
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Lest We Forget: Memories of ANZAC Day 2012 on Flinders Island

Roger Findlay spends all his holidays in Tasmania, then writes about the
experience
for Think Tasmania. If you’d like Roger to visit you in the name of
research (so we can publish information about your business), please contact us.

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Map: ANZAC Day, Flinders Island