Mologa ANZAC Day Address 2023 – Cr. Dan Straub
This Anzac Day, Communities like ours across Loddon Shire, together with the nation, will remember those who have lost their lives in military and peacekeeping operations.
I’d like to recognise and thank everyone involved in organising Anzac Day commemorations across the Shire.
These commemorations enable us as a community to come together, pay tribute to and remember the sacrifice of men and women who have served or are currently serving our great nation.
We pay our respects to all Diggers of the ANZAC whom sacrificed their today, so we can have a better tomorrow.
We take this time to say a prayer for all Australians currently on active service at this moment.
We remember our loved ones that did not return home, our loved ones that returned and have since past and we stand proud alongside those that are still with us today.
This morning, here in Mologa we lay our reeves at the foot of this Memorial, the names of our past community members forever etched in stone.
As kids growing up and even to this day, we have all had our Heroes that we look up to and admire.
For some theses are Fictional characters, Athletes, Actors, Musicians or even Politicians.
For me it is still our brave Diggers of our Australian Defence Force.
Local Heroes like,
And Sean Hanson,
Just to name a few I have regular contact with and are all still very active in our community.
I grew up with the stories of my family members and the tales of their heroic feet’s of survival over the First and Second World Wars, I would like to share some of their stories with you today.
My Great Grandfather, Herbert John Watson enlisted at Bacchus Marsh aged 16 and served at Gallipoli. He lost 3 fingers off his right hand catching and returning a Turkish grenade. Herbert returned home and died in his 70’s, a plaque in his honour is situated on one of the 281 Dutch Elms in the Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh.
Great Uncle, Alan Hillman Evely, Corporal Royal Australian Air Force, served in Labuan, Brunei-Bay Borneo. Alan was engaged in the battle of Labuan against The Imperial Japanese Forces.
His Unit the 22nd R.S.U RAAF was then involved in the repair and salvage operations of fighter aircraft on the island.
My Great Grandfather George Harold Lowe left the farm at Koondrook, and enlisted in 1942 as a Gunner with the Australian Imperial Forces.
Along with Uncle Milo Williams who had also left the cattle farm in Mincha to join the fight, both then served and forte on the Sherman Tanks until the end of 1944.
Great Uncle Fred Straub, served in the Second World War in the Radio Core AIF, most of which was on Australian soil.
Fred Straub then became a Councillor for the Borough of Eaglehawk and served a number of terms as Mayor.
Wesley James Straub, Pop Straub, my Grandfather received his National Service Medal, serving 2 years at the Laverton RAAF Base.
Then going on to work at Williams Town Naval Dockyard on Naval projects comprising of Submarine Population Shafts, propellers, 4.5 inch Gun Mountings for Destroyers and Frigetts, the Dismantling of the German Leopard tanks and a number of gun and canon projects.
World War 11, also seen 5 of the 6 Spooner Brothers enlist to fight for their Country.
Paul Spooner enlisted in 1940 Gunner for the Australian Army was a part of the well know and recognised Rats of Tabrook. Honourably Discharged in November 1944 after also serving in Papua New Guinea.
Nelson Spooner, Private Australian Army and Fredy Spooner Lance Bombardier Australian Army, also enlisted in 1940 and served in Tabrook, then later in Papua New Guinea where they were both killed in action.
Douglas Spooner, Private Australian Army, enlisted in 1941 and server in Singapore where he spent most of the War in Changi Prison as a Prisoner of War. Douglas was later released and discharged in 1945.
Noel Herbert Spooner, Pop Spooner was my Grandfather, left his work mustering sheep and working in the shearing Shed of Auchmore Station and enlisting in 1944 as a Leading Aircraftman for the Royal Australian Air Force where he served at Port Morseby in Papua New Guinea in the same region where his two brothers were killed in the previous years.
Noel, Pop Spooner never spoke much about his time at War, not many did, Pop came to lived with us on our propriety at Tandarra for a few years before passing away peacefully in 2019 at the age of 93.
These people named are some of my ANZAC Heroes, their stories are but a few.
I am sure I am not alone with stories such as theses from family members doing their part for the freedoms we have today.
We stand here in their sacrifice.
Their legacy will live on forever.
This morning we take our hats off and remember them.
Later today we raise a glass to Honour them.