Remembrance Day: Mandurah RSL ready for Armistice Centenary

Special commemoration: Mandurah RSL secretary Theresa Williams, member Brien Bush, vice-president David Mabbs, president Brian Dillon, Father Ian Mabey and Canning MP Andrew Hastie. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.
Special commemoration: Mandurah RSL secretary Theresa Williams, member Brien Bush, vice-president David Mabbs, president Brian Dillon, Father Ian Mabey and Canning MP Andrew Hastie. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

The Mandurah Returned and Services League are preparing for a special centenary commemoration of Remembrance Day this weekend.

And to pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on Sunday, the RSL will host two special services at the Mandurah Cemetery and Christ’s Church Anglican Parish Of Mandurah.

The services will remember and pay respects to the service personnel buried at war graves at the two sites.

Eighteen war graves have been identified at Mandurah Cemetery and eight at Christ’s Church Anglican Parish.

Mandurah RSL vice-president David Mabbs said it was the first year the services would go ahead thanks to a funding grant from Andrew Hastie.

“Our intention here is to reinforce the significance of the centenary of the signing of the Armistice and that it is not the end of remembrance just because it’s 100 years,” he said.

“These are not necessarily persons that were killed in World War I and II, it is more than likely persons who have died of war injuries and illnesses.”

Students from Mandurah schools will help to conduct the services, laying a flag at the head of each of the graves, hand-in-hand with the Mandurah RSL.

Mr Mabbs said it was important for the next generation of young people to understand the significance of Remembrance Day.

“As generations are dying out so is the remembrance of their pallbearers and the roles they played in all wars and conflicts in Australia.

“We’re getting the students to research each one of these grave sites so they know who the person is and what their history is that they are honouring.

“Our intention is for the students to take these national flags and their research back to their schools with them and hopefully honour these service persons each year at their own services.

“And our service persons will have the national flag flying proudly and freely over them and casting a shadow on them one more time.”

Father Ian Mabey will conduct the service at Christ’s Church alongside RSL member Brien Bush, while RSL member Bob White will MC the Mandurah Cemetery service.

The main service at the War Memorial at the Western Foreshore will be called to order at 10.30am.

Tri-service cadets and a flag party will march to begin the service, which will stop at 11am for a minute’s silence to remember the fallen.

Mr Mabbs said they were expecting a good turnout for Sunday’s commemorations.

“There are no holidays on and no school to interfere, so it is probable we will have a better-than-normal turnout, in conjunction with it being the centenary,” he said.