Tags: Army. Military. Remembrance Day. Navy. Australian Army. Australian Defense Forces. Anzac Day. Anzacs.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM – Australian Remembrance day.
On February 17th in 1967, three hundred members of 6 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment engaged in a conflict with 250 Viet Cong in Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam, resulting in a total of eight Australian soldiers being killed and a further twenty-seven wounded.
This conflict was named Operation Bribie and has previously been described as a battle which demonstrated the resolve and professionalism of ordinary Australian soldiers, both conscripts, and regulars, who had to overcome extreme hardship.
Each year on the anniversary of that fiercely fought battle, both veterans and current serving soldiers gather to remember and once again, on the 51st anniversary of Operation Bribie, the serene surroundings of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park on Toorbul Street in Bongaree were the venue for both the Memorial Service and a catch up by old mates.
Veterans of Operation Bribie mingled with current serving soldiers from 6 RAR
Attended by veterans of the battle, other veterans, and current serving soldiers from 6 RAR as well as members of the public, the service was commenced at 11 am by Master of Ceremonies Paul Boyns calling for the Catafalque Party (provided by the current members of 6 RAR) to be mounted.
Phil Buttigeig, a Corporal from 4 Platoon in 1967, gave the Operation Bribie address and then Chaplain Rev. Colin Baxter said a prayer for those who suffered. The Honour Roll was then read with veterans placing a symbolic miniature Australian flag on the Memorial Wall for each of those who gave their lives during the battle.
After the reading of the honours and awards, wreaths were laid at the Memorial SWall by representatives from the various organisations including the 6 RAR Association, Bravo Company, RSL Sub- Branch and the Next of Kin.
Wreaths were also laid by Division One Councillor Brooke Savige and the Member for Pumicestone, Simone Wilson. The ceremony then came to a close after a moving rendition of the Last Post by buglerPaul Jones, two minutes silence, the dismounting of the Catafalque Party and The Ode. The formalities over, those present enjoyed a BBQ lunch expertly cooked by members of the Bribie Island Vietnam Veterans Association and everyone took time to catch up with those who they had not seen for some time.
Enjoying a BBQ lunch cooked by local Vietnam Veterans Association members
As an indication of the importance of the anniversary, there were some there who had traveled from as far away as Western Australia.
As long as ceremonies such as the Operation Bribie Memorial are conducted each year, those who served and paid the ultimate price in defence of their country will never be forgotten.
LEST WE FORGET