A proud morning for us all, especially seeing my two boys Lincoln and Kyal marching together hand in hand for their first ever Anzac march.
I snuck around a little with my mirrorless and snapped these frames from this morning – please share with those interested.
My boys joined their classmates as part of their school’s procession, the second school to lead off in the march behind the historic Nerang State School (of which I attended in the 1980s).
It was a huge turnout with thousands making it down for the mid-morning march and service – testament not only to the wealth of military and service history in the area but also the strong sense of community and togetherness that is the foundation of Nerang’s long history.
Lincoln and Kyal’s family history has a significant wartime, military, police and service past that spans multiple nations, conflicts, causes and centuries.
Today Kyal wore his great grandfather’s WW2 medals. John ‘Jock’ McKinlay served in both the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Air Force of England during the second world war, seeing action and service over Britain, Germany, France, Canada and The Pacific to name but a few destinations.
Jock was an exceptional pilot and airman who served as a navigator on Lancaster bombers and as a pilot on various craft including the famous Catalina flying boats. He ascended to the commissioned rank of Squadron Leader and returned safely to eventually take up his life here in Southport after his service ended. He passed away unexpectedly in 1954, leaving his wife Jean and four young children – Janis, Bruce, Sandy (my mum) and Kerry behind.
Today’s march was very special for Kyal and although he doesn’t understand the significance of it all, I am certain he will look back on the photos very fondly in years to come.
Lincoln and Kyal’s great, great grandfather, Claude Tasman Earnshaw, served with the Australian Light Horse in the Boer War in 1899 and went on to become a mounted police officer in Victoria after the war.
In 1901, at a ceremony to officially open the first Federal Parliament in the Exhibition Buildings of Melbourne, Claude was honoured for his service when he received his medals personally from the then Prince of Wales and Duke of York, George the Fifth – the future king of England!
It was great to reflect on all of this today and more, and great to see many friends out remembering, honouring and celebrating the sacrifices their own family members have laid before us so that we may look ahead in peace in prosperity.
The song My Hero by the Foo Fighters bounced around inside my head at one point.
There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
Don’t the best of them bleed it out
While the rest of them peter out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around
I have captioned some of these images, but many of them need no caption at all, they speak for themselves.
Local Councillor, Peter Young, paid special tribute to both of his grandfathers who served extensively during the first World War, including his mum’s father who served in Gallipoli. Peter has a rich family history of wartime military service and his sincerity and personal reflection shone like a beacon when he laid a wreath at the cenotaph.
Yay or nay? The local sushi shop opened and started trading (as did several food shops at the Nerang Cinema complex) before the morning march had even begun and traded right through the full service, in full view of and facing the R.S.L. front lawn and the crowds of veterans and participants.
My mate Adrian’s son on the far right, leading the march as part of a re-enactment costume piece done by the students of Nerang High School