Remembering our Vietnam veterans

The Collie-Cardiff RSL held its annual service to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day on Saturday, August 18.

Collie-Cardiff RSL president Gary Benton said it was important to remember everyone who fought and died in the Vietnam War.

“More than 60,000 Australian personnel were involved in the 10 years that the war lasted, with over 500 killed ... and more than 300 wounded, injured or suffered debilitating illnesses,” he said.

“The deprivations of the Vietnam veterans continued long after end of hostilities as many were poorly received when they arrived back home.

“It took several years for the Vietnam veterans to be finally recognised for the job they did. Thankfully today they are recognised and … [we] thank them and all who served.”

The service also included the laying of wreaths, with Ron White and Ron Dewar both laying a wreath to remember their brothers who died during the war.

Vietnam Veterans Day coincides with the most well-known battle of the war, the Battle of Long Tan, on August 18, 1966.

Collie-Cardiff RSL members also headed down to the Donnybrook RSL the following day for a South West-wide commemoration of Vietnam Veterans Day.

RSL members came from Harvey-Brunswick, Collie-Cardiff, Busselton, Bunbury, Margaret River, Augusta, Manjimup,Greenbushes, Boyup Brook, Pemberton and Darkan as well as the Red Cross Ladies from Harvey-Brunswick for the service.

Donnybrook RSL President Ric Evans addressed the crowd, followed by Garry Davis who spoke of the war and those from the Donnybrook area who fought and died.

Wreaths were then placed by a representative from Donnybrook and each visiting town, before The Ode was read and The Last Post played by Donnybrook District High School student Callum Gray.

One minute's silence was followed by The Rousse, then the National Anthem. The Catafalque Party then marched off.

Members and guests then walked to the Memorial Hall where they enjoyed lunch, raffles and an auction of a few items. There was also much laughter as everyone relaxed and caught up with those they had not seen since the previous year's Commemoration Service.

Mr Evans said it was a great day and they were very pleased with the turn out. 

"The weather was perfect and we sincerely thank all who donated prizes for the raffles, all those who helped on the day and the 515 ACU Army Cadets for attending at the service," he said.

The 2019 service will be held in Collie.