Remembrance Day at New Norfolk

A Derwent Valley Concert Band bugler
playing the national anthem.

ABOUT 100 people attended this morning’s Remembrance Day service at the New Norfolk Cenotaph in Circle St, including students who walked across from Fairview Primary School.

The official party included Local Government minister Mark Shelton MHA, acting Derwent Valley mayor Jessica Cosgrove, acting Derwent Valley Council general manager Richard Blackwell, New Norfolk RSL president Geoff Hack and secretary Brian Glover, and the Reverend Celia Hooker from St Matthew’s Anglican Church.

Mrs Hooker noted that today marked the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I, which at the time was known as “the war to end all wars”.

For many years afterwards, November 11 was known as Armistice Day after the suspension of fighting that ended the war that had cost as many as 15 million lives, with a third of them having no known grave.

“Today, like other years we acknowledge this day and observe all that it stands for, along with other Commonwealth countries,” Mrs Hooker said. “King George V personally requested that the people of the British Empire suspend normal duties to have a time of silence on the hour of the Armistice.

The Reverend Celia Hooker, left, giving her address.

“After World War II this became known as Remembrance Day and today we use this special time to remember all those who have been lost in all wars and conflicts – many known to our families, but also so many others who died for us whom we never knew, but acknowledge the bravery and the self-sacrifices that helped us to live in freedom.”

Mrs Hooker spoke of the ongoing suffering of veterans long after their service had ended, including a great-uncle who struggled for the rest of his life to cope with the atrocities of World War I.

Today’s service at the New Norfolk Cenotaph faced in the opposite direction to previous years, with those seated having their backs to the monument. Most opted to stand on either side of the council chambers forecourt, keeping the Cenotaph in sight.

New Norfolk High School students carrying
a wreath to the Cenotaph.

Wreaths were laid by Cr Cosgrove and Mr Hack, as well as by students from New Norfolk High School and Fairview Primary School. Some schools held their own Remembrance Day events on campus.

In her address, Mrs Hooker said today’s war zones often had no battlefronts, no borders and no sense. “Apart from the conflicts in the Middle East, we also see lives taken by terrorists including suicide bombers, so I ask you to remember people lost during the meaningless acts of horror,” she said.

Reflecting on the theme of sacrificial love, Mrs Hooker said Remembrance Day was a day to reflect and and be grateful, and to pledge that the memory and tradition of the day will be handed down to future generations.

Fairview Primary School representatives at the service.
The Reverend Celia Hooker speaking.
Derwent Valley Council acting mayor Jessica Cosgrove.
Fairview Primary School students.
New Norfolk RSL Club secretary Brian Glover.
Part of the audience at the service.
Local Government minister Mark Shelton, front left, with acting Derwent Valley
mayor Jessica Cosgrove and acting council general manager Richard Blackwell.

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