Seniors saluted for heroism

Warwick RSL sub-branch chaplain Barry Kelly helped veteran Edgar McCulloch lay a wreath at the flag pole during the Akooramak Anzac Day.
Warwick RSL sub-branch chaplain Barry Kelly helped veteran Edgar McCulloch lay a wreath at the flag pole during the Akooramak Anzac Day. Erin Smith

WARWICK RSL sub-branch president John Skinner hailed Warwick's seniors as his Anzac heroes during Akooramak's Anzac Day service yesterday.

"I would usually be up here speaking about the Anzac spirit but looking around I realise that you know more than I do about the Anzac spirit," Mr Skinner said.

"You have lived it your entire lives.

"When you were born in Australia your friends, uncles and fathers were all involved in the war.

"You grew up in the great depression.

"Some of you were involved in World War Two early on while others joined in later.

"Many ladies served too.

"You have lost fathers, husbands, brothers or friends.

"You people founded modern Australia, you have been through all of it and you have helped make Australia a better place.

"You are my army heroes.

"You are the Anzac spirit."

Mr Skinner's speech was followed by Edgar McCulloch laying a wreath at the bottom of the flag pole.

Mr McCulloch is Warwick's only known remaining veteran of the Battle of Milne Bay, which took place just over 70 years ago.

He was a warrant officer in the RAAF and served with the Kittyhawk-flying 75 Squadron.

Mr McCulloch along with the other residents able to stand, stood tall and proud for the playing of the Last Post and the national anthem.

Those who could not stand placed their hands over their hearts or bowed their heads.

Akooramak resident Jess Devine closed the ceremony by thanking the RSL sub-branch members for helping them remember.

"We have grown up with Anzac Day," Mrs Devine.

"I was five years old when I went to my first dawn service and I still remember it.

"I will never forget the grey leathery faces of the young men who had been gassed and the way they shivered in the cold.

"I remember the bugler in his light horse uniform who had emu feathers in his slouch hat as he played the Last Post.

"Thank you for remembering it with us," Mrs Devine said.



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