Monday, 18 February 2019
Yesterday, I had the honour of attending the memorial day service to the National Servicemen of Australia hosted by the Nambucca Valley sub branch of the Australian National Servicemen's Association. The event was held at the Nambucca Heads cenotaph and memorial wall. It was an excellent service, run, as you would expect, with military precision. The national servicemen from throughout the region, their families and members of the public gathered to commemorate the commitment and sacrifice of those young Australians.
I would like to commend the organising committee members, John Eather, Richard Greentree, Neville Stewart, Don McKenzie and George Wilson, for their commitment to the organisation and for making sure that the service of our nashos is not forgotten. At the service, Gerry Hunter, a former national serviceman from Coffs Harbour, delivered an informative speech on the history of national service and the periods of national service from 1951 to 1959 and 1964 to 1972. In attendance were the Coffs Coast Pipes and Drums. They did a great job, as always. I would like to thank drum-major Denis Heap and the band.
After the service, there was a wonderful luncheon at Nambucca Heads RSL, and at that luncheon I had the honour of presenting Don McKenzie with the award of National Serviceman of the Year. I was absolutely delighted to be presented with a plaque in appreciation of my support of the association over my time as member for Cowper. I wish to put on the public record my appreciation for their kind and thoughtful gesture.
I must say that my dealings with ex-services community members from across the electorate have been the highlight of my time as a local federal member. I would also like to inform the Chamber that service to the community by members of the Nambucca Valley Sub-Branch of the ANSA continue, despite national service ending in 1972. Members of the sub-branch donated around $26,000 to the community over the last year. These funds were raised through their twice-monthly sausage sizzle, held at Woolworths supermarket in Nambucca Heads. I congratulate the Nambucca Valley sub-branch on what was a great day, and I congratulate Don McKenzie on being awarded National Serviceman of the Year. Thank you.