Generations and organisations join to remember the fallen and support veteran’s families
For the first time in 69 years, Australian War Widows NSW (AWW NSW) and the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway unite to host a combined ANZAC and Field of Remembrance service to remember the fallen and commemorate the men and women who have served our nation in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Representing Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales, Colonel Michael Miller RFD, Official Secretary to the Governor; plus The Rt Rev. Dr Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney; Rev Emily Carpenter, Anglican Chaplain Concord Hospital and Father Tom Stevens, Hon Police Chaplain and PP Mortlake will lead bible readings and prayers.
ANZAC and Field of Remembrance Service
Since 1952, the solemn and important Field of Remembrance event has been held at the St Andrews Cathedral Sydney. For the first time, the service will be held outdoors at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway due to potential risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are honoured to share our annual ANZAC service this year with the Australian War Widows NSW and unite our community in show of respect and love for those who have fallen, and their families” says Jennifer Collins, Chair, Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway.
Remembering loved ones and support veteran’s families
In a moving ceremony, war widows representing major conflicts of war from WWI to Afghanistan, will place crosses in remembrance of loved ones who gave their lives in service to our nation. The Field of Remembrance service will also recognise the losses and sacrifices of war widows and their families who bare an enormous burden for Australia and their lifelong role supporting veterans who have fallen, been wounded, injured or with illness.
We are all part of the story – imparting the spirit of ANZAC to younger generations
School children from Strathfield North Public School will participate in song and join children from five other local schools, the congregation and older generations in the commemoration and service. The story of those who sacrificed their lives for future generations and the spirit of ANZAC will be shared with the younger audience.
Members of the Australian War Widows NSW and audience will be invited to participate in this moving commemorative event by planting small wooden crosses and wreaths in memory of those who have fallen.
Bringing the service to the community and distant war widows
The ANZAC and Field of Remembrance service will be livestreamed online via the Australian War Widows NSW Facebook page, YouTube channel and webpage for the entire community to participate in #AnzacAtHome.
Thousands of AWW NSW members will have a small cross mailed to each of them to write their loved one’s name on and lay at home, a local cenotaph, garden or somewhere of meaning.
“Many of our war widows live regionally or are unable to travel to commemorative events. This is our way of including as many of our community as possible, to continue the War Widows story of women helping women set by our founder Jessie Vasey 75 years ago” says Rhondda Vanzella OAM. “As a woman united by defence service and a widow of war myself, I know the burden we carry in our hearts. This stays with us always because this is our story. It is my dream as National President, that we preserve and grow the legacy Jessie Vasey and those early pioneers of this organisation worked so hard to create”.
This weekend, we will come together in person, and in spirit, to commemorate the men and women who have served our nation in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. We will acknowledge and support the partners, children and families who have sacrificed and given so much to those who have served our country.
Rhondda Vanzella OAM, National and NSW State President, Australian War Widows
Jennifer Collins, Chair, Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway
21 April 2021
More information about the history of the Field of Remembrance can be found here.