On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (next Thursday) we traditionally pause to remember those men and women who have died or suffered in all wars, conflicts and peace operations. With its origins in the armistice that ended fighting in the First World War, by the end of the Second World War Armistice Day had grown from solely a remembrance of the men and women of the Great War into something larger, becoming a day to honour all those who had fallen in war. Remembering our past is the key to understanding our present and shaping our future. The stories of the past come alive as we retell them and weave those lessons and values into our current thinking and being.
I am looking forward to reading the fruits of John Davies’ labour of love when he completes his 17th profile of individual members of LSC&PH and the Power House Rugby Club who served in the war. The subjects of these profiles have included well known and loved members such as names like Stan and Hal (Butch) Bisset, Andy Barr, Max Carpenter, Fred Kerr, Frank Redhead, Bob Dogherty, John Park, Lindsay Orr, Frank Devine, Orm Smith, Norman Maberley-Smith and Lew Martin. John’s current research focus is the life and service of Wing Commander James Gibson Emerton who came to Big Camp from Box Hill High School as a grouper and went on to serve as a mischievous Slushie in the late 1930s. His name is amongst those I have heard read at so many of our services that honour our 71 noble ghosts of Somers. So next Thursday morning when we pause for a minute of silence and the last post rings out across our various work and local communities, we will keep their stories and those of so many like them in our hearts. We recall their service and the physical and emotional injuries that changed their lives and those of the family and friends who loved them. The Honour Board that has hung at Somers as the backdrop to so many Mess Hut speakers reminds us that “The true, the noble and the brave do die in body. But their spirit dwells for evermore in the habitations and those they served and loved.” Lest we forget.
There have been periods over the past 18 months where it seemed difficult to commit to an event or a diary appointment in any part of life as everything carried caveats that all plans were subject to change pending last minute lockdowns. As we start to emerge from those extensive and unpredictable lockdowns, we can start to populate diaries with a little more confidence and an unending hope that the worst of the COVID turbulence and disruption is subsiding for good. So for those who are starting to feel the satisfying courage of populating 2022 diaries, here are a few dates for the first months of the year that may be worth entering. There will be more dates to follow after the upcoming PandA Committee and Board November meetings.
11 – 13 February: Goldies Camp
18 – 20 February: Oldies Camp
25 – 27 February: Slushie Camp
4 – 6 March: Slushee Camp
20 March: Founders Day at Camp
9 – 14 April: Lord Somers Camp
19 – 24 April: Lady Somers Camp
25 April: ANZAC Service
Until next week. Stay well.