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.
Flinders Island: ANZAC Day
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.