Epping RSL sub-Branch President’s Message June-July 2018
During April the members and veterans of our sub-Branch have been involved in many Anzac Services in schools, churches, community groups and retirement villages. The greater numbers attending the Anzac Sunday and the Anzac Dawn Services confirms that Australians are united in the appreciation of our nation’s history and heritage of concern for others. The enthusiasm of the younger generation that is to be witnessed at ANZAC Services will ensure that the message of the Anzacs and the Spirit of Anzac will continue.
But what of tomorrow and the Australia in the 21st and 22nd Centuries? In peacetime as we are embraced by the modern life styles and its comfort aids we can become so very relaxed in respect of our national security. Concern for the present can bring with it a state of global amnesia about our nation’s security and the price that has been paid for our peace. A visit to the many cemeteries around the world in which Australians lie in war graves or whose names are etched into the many monuments to former battles and the aftermath of war is a reminder of the price that our forebears have paid for the peaceful times that we enjoy today.
As lifestyles become more comfortable and a new liberalism attempts to change those life values that were significant to us yesterday, we can be overtaken by pressures of change for change sake. All too quickly we can become immersed in a metamorphism of change that will permanently alter the persona and the significance of Australia. With the rise of popularism politics which is more a measure of the lack of leadership, the ideas which we thought were important yesterday can so easily be cast aside. Any breakdown in the rule of law supplemented by modernity of conduct driven by attitudes of unfettered dissent and envy of the impractical will steer us to a dangerous place concerning our future. Such trendiness demands leadership that is not afraid to put its head above the trench when there is an attack on our principles. We desperately need a motivation to lead and present our nation fit for the challenges of everyday issues of our nation’s future.
We own our future and it is timely that Australians determined who we really are and ask the questions, who am I, what do I stand for, what can I do to better the nation as I support those that depend on me, what is the image of my country’s as others might perceive.
Australia is well-endowed with natural assets, a continent of space, self-sufficient in energy, homogeneous communities embracing many cultural backgrounds, great living standards, highly skilled and resourceful workforces are assets of which we must be zealously proud and that must be the focus of a stratagem for our future. At this time, with global alliances so ready to adapt to trade and economic pressures, the past idea that my enemy’s enemy is my friend could be a dangerous policy in this 21st Century with its instant communications both social and internationally.
Whilst international trade is the backbone of a peaceful existence we must be conscious that our true allies are those nations which have similar values to our own. Such ideals as the rule of law as the centre piece of government with clear separation of military and civilian enforcement agencies and with similar cultural and humanity values, who are possessed of the same principals of cooperation in peace as in time of war are some of the traits that must be in a true ally.
The Anzac Stories from which the Spirit of Anzac is founded is a melding of the strength of the individual and his service to others and is the force that has underwired our Nation through two savage world wars and many other confrontations to peace. It is a real energy that can work through the differences that divide the nation.
In anticipating our tomorrow, we do well not to cast aside as a piece of irrelevant history that Spirit of Anzac about which we remember on ANZAC Day.
Lest we forget
John K Curdie OAM