Commando News Spring17

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75 TH ANNIVERSARY OF KOKODA DAY

By Brian Dunbar

On Friday 3 November 2017, 300 to 400 people

gathered at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway,

Concord, for a thanksgiving service to celebrate the

75th anniversary of the defeat of the Japanese by the

Australian troops in New Guinea in 1942. Amongst

those present were 9 Commando Association

members.

It was a well organised & moving ceremony. The

Knox Grammar School’s pipes and drums band led

the veterans, who were honoured and paraded in

vintage jeeps. The veterans were accompanied by

nurses from Concord Hospital dressed in WW2

nurses’ uniforms. A catafalque party was mounted at

the main memorial. Many Australian & Papua New

Guinea representatives laid wreaths at a number of

memorials along the walkway. These included some

veterans who took an active part in that campaign in

1942. Members of the Association, Reg Davis (2/9

Commando Squadron), Ken “Bluie” Curran (2/11

Commando Squadron), & Phil McNamara all laid

wreaths.

Lt Col Kimberlea Juchniewicz gave an excellent

address. Two chaplains lead the religious section. A

group of Papua New Guinea dancers and choir

“Koasties” performed. A group of students from

Rosebank College, who had walked the Kokoda Track

in PNG, addressed the gathering.

Brigadier Phil McNamara closed the service with a

vote of thanks, for all those who attended and those

who assisted with the organisation to make the day

such a success. The service closed with both the PNG

and Australian national anthems.

The Concord Hospital provided an excellent

afternoon tea, with two large appropriately iced

cakes, which were officially cut by some of the

veterans.

50 year Reunion for some of the "Old and Bold"

COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 11 I September 2017 27

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