Thursday, 30 October 2014
Wannon Electorate: Centenary of Anzac
I would like to inform the House of a wonderful day I had the week before last in my electorate. On a beautiful, sunny day I drove to a very small rural community called Tahara and it is a historical old community. It is a little community which is surrounded by wonderful farmland and there is a strong community present in this little town. I went there to give them a grant to celebrate the Anzac Centenary. We had a wonderful morning and the grant will help them restore their avenue of honour. They have planted lovely claret ashes, and each claret ash is going to stand as a memorial to the servicemen who gave their lives in the First World War. They also are replanting a Gallipoli oak. One of the community members had it down near his shearing shed for a very long time because his grandfather fought in the First World War and brought a cutting of a Gallipoli oak back with him and it has been planted on the residence. Marcus Winter-Cooke has kindly donated this Gallipoli oak to be moved from near his shearing shed up to the Tahara recreation reserve.
The head of the recreation reserve, Howard Templeton, was there, Johnny Pepper, whose family have long been in the community, was there, and Marcus Winter-Cooke, also a long-term member of the community, was there. We had a wonderful discussion about how these servicemen and servicewomen had made a wonderful contribution to the spirit of Anzac Day. We went inside the little community facility they have there and up on the wall was a commemoration which still hangs there from the servicemen, in this instance, who served our nation in the First World War. Prominent there, along with Sir John Monash, was Sir Cyril Brudenell Bingham White, who is buried at Buangor, and his memorial is a also a recipient of our Anzac Centenary grants. For those members who do not know, Sir Brudenell White was a formidable military historical figure of the First World War and the Second World War. He was very sadly killed in a plane crash not far from Canberra which took away an outstanding Australian life far too quickly and far too early.
I wanted to commend the Tahara community for what they are doing to play their part in ensuring that the Anzac legacy continues in that small community. Members of that community have come together to make sure that there will be a proper commemoration and a proper avenue of honour, and that the Gallipoli oak, which is a direct descendant of a Gallipoli oak, will continue to survive and flourish and will continue to be a lasting reminder to this small country community of the history of Anzac. That is something that that community should be extremely proud of. I say to the community: well done.
I also point out that we are undertaking a history, in the south-west of Victoria, of all those people who served in the First World War. As part of that, we will be recognising and commemorating those people from this tiny community of Tahara who gave their lives for our country, our way of life and our values—values that we still see cherished in this parliament today. To the Tahara community: keep up your outstanding work. You are a community that I, as the member for Wannon, am very proud of.