Presidents Report

The present war in Ukraine brings a renewed focus on Defence and that is one of the reasons that we had such a good response to our recent Anzac Day ceremonies. I feel sure that the lifting of Covid restrictions helped too.

Our Anzac Sunday service was very well attended with Brigadier Peter Connors AM giving an interesting speech. 322 City of Ryde Squadron and James Ruse cadets were in attendance in impressive numbers.

The dawn service was very well attended indeed. Estimates of the crowd numbers varied between 2,000 and 3,000. Whatever the number, the service was very well attended. Over 350 veterans and their families attended the Epping Club breakfast.

One of the amazing things that occurred during the breakfast was that 15 RSL membership applications were made. Seven service members and eight affiliates completed their application forms. We can only hope that they come to our general meetings as often as they are able and support the sub-Branch.

There was of course much work behind the scenes that made our Anzac ceremonies so successful. Each one of the Committee contributed to the arrangements. Parramatta Council gave our sub-Branch wonderful support, not only at the services, but also in the period leading up to the events.

Our next ceremony will be Victory in the Pacific which will be held in Boronia Park at 1030 on 15 August 2023. It will be a small wreath laying ceremony which I hope will be well attended.

I found it interesting to look up on google the events leading up to the end of World War 2. At the Potsdam conference, which was held to sort out exactly how various countries would be divided when hostilities ended, a declaration was sent to Japan on 27 July 1945. Japan rejected these terms of surrender. Then on the 7th and 9th of August 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Japanese high command did not respond to these events until the 15th of August and accept the Potsdam Declaration of surrender. It took a further two weeks for the fighting to cease and then only after the Americans had flown Japanese dignitaries to the various islands where the fighting was still taking place. However, the 15th of August is the day upon which Japan surrendered.

It was only after the surrender that the full and terrible extent of the fighting and the treatment of prisoners became known. Victory in the Pacific is a significant day which should never be forgotten, and which should always be commemorated.

 Brian Swan AM

sub-Branch President