VICTORY IN THE PACIFIC 2023
The Commemoration Service which has been occurring for the past 17 years is one of very few in South-Western Sydney. From its small beginning made up of RSL Sub-Branches and District Clubs, a combined committee has worked together to achieve a successful Commemoration parade and service. They provide the community with an opportunity to remember and pay respect to those military people and their families who endured the hardships of war. The war in the Pacific brought the realization of war to our shores with the bombing of Darwin and submarine attacks in Sydney Harbour. By mid-1945, many people in Allied nations eagerly anticipated the end of the war with Japan – even though none knew when or how it would come. The name they gave to the eventual day on which Japan capitulated – 15 August 1945.
Here in South-West Sydney, we commemorate the day on 14 August each year to allow our community to gather locally and then if they wish to go into the city for the service on the next day. The Commemoration service was a major event in the military calendar of the region and a great success with over 500 attending the service.
The day was overcast, and the forecast was for rain all day. But we were fortunate because the rain stayed away for the duration of the service. The Street Parade led by Captain Jason Holt Australian Army and following with the 142 Singal Squadron Catafalque Guard, Flag Bearers from the Navy Training Ship Kanimbla Cadets, the Australian Army Band, an armed guard of honour from the 172 Air Dispatch Squadron, Veterans and a respectful display of young women from St Patrick’s College for Girls Campbelltown wearing period nurse attire. In all, over 130 participated in the street parade from the club to Cabravale Memorial Park.
This year, the MC was the Club President Walter Robinson OAM. It was a deeply moving service with over 65 wreaths laid by military personnel, politicians, and local community members. We were honoured this year to have representation from the United States of America, Consul Generals from New Zealand, and Japan with an impression lineup of military representation from the United States of America and Australia. This included Mayor General Paul Irving (Ret’d) AM, PSM ,RFD Colonel Shane Gries United States of America Defence Attache USAA, Matthew McCarty Representing the Consul General Christine Elder United States of America and Mayor Simon Statton Australian Army.
Other dignitaries were the Honourable David Harris MP Minister for Veterans along with Cabramatta State member Tri Vo MP Representing the NSW Premier Christopher Minns, State Member for Fairfield Kaliyanda MP, Dai Le Federal Member for Fowler, Dr David Saliba MP, Member for Liverpool Charishma, Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone and Councilors from Fairfield City Council and Mayor of Liverpool Ned Mannoun.