St Marys RSL

  St Marys RSL sub-Branch Reports of Commemorative Services   

RSL Sub-Branch Contacts:
President - Ron Blakely 0411 131 849; Secretary - Tony Fryer 0414 557 692;
Welfare - Bill Peet 0425 206 245, Terry Burns 0407 834 499.
Since 2018, reports and photos from Commemorative Services, Social Guild and School-related events are being placed on the St Marys RSL sub-Branch Facebook – see HERE


 Remembrance Day 2014

A crowd well over 100 attended our Remembrance Day Service under cloudy skies. Rochelle Christensen, a Year 10 student from Emmaus Catholic College, sang an appropriate song ('Together as One') she wrote recently as her winning entry in this year's Colin Shepherd OAM Memorial School Scholarships (see separate entry on this site); she did a marvellous job and enhanced the overall impact of the service. Additionally, a poem ('Unprepared') written by Sub-Branch member Peter Hall was read by Joan Miller. We were excited to see the response from local schools at the Service, with fourteen schools (primary and secondary) attending.


 Vietnam Veterans' Day 2014

A late decision on the day resulted in a change of venue so as to not encourage more rain and wind. The move into the club auditorium was made along with changes to format to ensure a successful 'indoor' Service.

As seen in the photos here, the Service was well attended. The inclusion of a 'table service' component, with kind assistance of two students from St Clair High School, was a significant highlight which caught everyone's attention.

MC Burke Rogge kept a tight rein on procedures and the Band from 1/15 RNSWLancers performed the musical components with the usual aplomb. Thanks also to the Lancers for again providing the Catafalque Party - they looked smart & did a great job. With the usual support from the Sunset Station Singers, all who attended and enjoyed the Service remained for the light buffet which was well received.

Thanks also to the RSL Club for accommodating the Service at late notice.

 Boer War Day 2014

St Marys RSL Sub-Branch held its annual Boer War Commemoration Service at our Guns Cenotaph on 25 May 2014. It was attended by 56 interested persons including local Mayor, Federal and State (2) members, Patrons and members of the St Marys RSL Sub-Branch, and local community groups. Our Catafalque Party comprised students from Colyton High School Trade School and our two (Banjo Paterson) poems were read by a Colyton student and a local Army Cadet.

In the photo above, L to R are:
Mrs Tanya Davies MP, State Member for Mulgoa
Colyton High School student Latisha Potifara, who read Banjo's poem 'The Last Parade'
Miss Fiona Scott MP, Federal Member for Lindsay
3 of the 4 Colyton HS students who had formed the Catafalque Party
Cr Ross Fowler, Mayor of the City of Penrith
Bart Barrett MP, State Member for Londonderry
Cr Jackie Greenow, City of Penrith Councillor and Patron of St Marys RSL Sub-Branch

 ANZAC Day 2014

1. ANZAC Sunday Service - Sunday 13 April

Fifty Sub-Branch members headed the march along Queen Street, followed by good representation from associated groups (Women's Auxiliary, Youth Club, etc) as well as various community (Guides, Scouts, SES, Rural Fire Service) and school groups and general community members. Led by the St Marys Pipes and Drums and the 5th Light Horse contingent, and followed up with the St Marys Brass Band, all under the watchful eye of the constabulary, the made their way to Victoria Park in time for the annual ANZAC Sunday Service. A good crowd was waiting to welcome the marchers to the Park.

Under cloudy skies around 500 attended and the Service went smoothly. After President Ron Kelly provided some tragic statistics of our entry into WW1, Cr Greg Davies gave a thoughtful Address (thank you Greg). It was very pleasing to see the increasing number of children representing schools and other activity organisations within the St Marys district as well as the regular groups which continue to participate and make this an important reflective event on the local calendar.

The Sub-Branch Members wish to convey a sincere 'thank you' to the many groups that make this event happen, in particular the St Marys RSL Club Ltd (particularly Mr Terry Whiting for managing the audio system), our two regular bands (St Marys Brass and St Marys Pipes and Drums), 5 Engineer Regiment (for supplying the Catafalque Party), 21 ACU (for providing Cadets to fulfil various jobs), Sunset Station Singers (for leading the hymns), 5th Light Horse, Colyton High School (for assisting throughout), Penrith Council (for preparing the area), NSW Police St Marys LAC (for security of the march) and our Chaplin, Rev David Wrightson (for keeping the rain at bay).

To those who kindly donated to the Women's Auxiliary post-Service collection for Legacy, thank you.

Scroll down to the YouTube post below to see all of the photos.

2. ANZAC Dawn Service - Friday 25 April

Under threatening (but dark) skies, police estimates of up to 4,000 braved the chill to participate in our annual Dawn Service - our largest attendance to date. Pre-Service video and audio greeted arrivals and provided an appropriate preparation for the solemn Service.

The two large video screens ensured that all attending could witness the detail of the Service, albeit in the low light of early-dawn.

The presence of so many children again was a most pleasant sight and illustrates well that our young are showing increasing interest in our nation's military history and appreciation for the freedoms we all enjoy. The increasing number of attendees wishing to lay tributes also indicates that this aspect is accepted as a key element of the Service.

The Sub-Branch Members wish to convey a sincere 'thank you' to the many groups that make this event happen, in particular the Hot Ice (for managing all screen, video and audio aspects), St Marys Brass Band and Pipe Major from St Marys Pipes and Drums), 5 Engineer Regiment (for supplying the Catafalque Party), 21 ACU (for providing Cadets for the Banner Party), Sunset Station Singers (for leading the hymns), Colyton High School (for assisting throughout), VVAA Trainwashers (for preparing the area), NSW Police St Marys LAC (for security in Hall St) and our Chaplin, Rev David Wrightson (for keeping the rain at bay, again).

Numbers venturing into the Club for breakfast were down on last year, however a good-sized crowd enjoyed the opportunity to meet others and reflect on the occasion.

Accompanying photos are of various aspects of the Dawn Service.

Photos Nic Peters

© St Mary's RSL sub-Branch ABN 88 139 839 090, Cnr Hall St and Mamre Rd, St Marys NSW; Contact:
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