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Locals remember

Wreaths at Bacchus Marsh RSL Cenotaph. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By Tina Seirlis

Residents turned out in their hundreds for Remembrance Day ceremonies across the Shire on Saturday 11 November, continuing on the strong local legacy for this significant day.

From Bacchus Marsh to Ballan and beyond, at RSLs, and even so far as a pause in programming at Bacchus Marsh Little Athletics, many locals of all ages took the time both publicly and privately to stop and remember.

Remembrance Day commemorates the anniversary of the 1918 armistice that ended World War I. At 11.00am on 11 November 1918, guns fell silent after four years of continuous war and over 60,000 deaths from Australia alone. One minute of silence is observed each year at the exact time as the original armistice occurred.

President of the Ballan RSL Sub-Branch Pippa Morris, originally served in the Royal Australian Navy and said holding Remembrance Day Services allows everyone to participate in a global moment of reflection and hope.

“It may be true to say that there isn’t one other recurring global event which has lasted for more than 100 years, and that for a single moment unites the world like Remembrance Day does,” she said.

“Around 250 people attended the Ballan service and the community were very generous in their support of the RSL’s fundraising as always.”

Bacchus Marsh, RSL Sub-Branch President Michael Baxter, served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps over a nine-year period, and said around 400 were in attendance, approximately doubling last year’s turn-out.

Mr Baxter said recent census results indicate there are at least 500 ex or currently-servicing military personnel within Bacchus Marsh, with the local RSL representing 158 members.

“Our fundraising amount for Remembrance Day is very similar to last years,” he said.

Following on from Remembrance Day commemorations, planning is already well underway at both RSLs in the lead up to ANZAC Day 2024.