ANZAC: Last week Lismore RSL Sub-branch held a headstone blessing at South Gundurimba Cemetery.
ANZAC: Last week Lismore RSL Sub-branch held a headstone blessing at South Gundurimba Cemetery. Alison Paterson

Headstone blessing offers thanks for ultimate sacrifice

AHEAD of Anzac Day, a special service to commemorate the Blessing of the Headstone was held at the cemetery at South Gundurimba.

On Thursday April 16, in the windy sunshine between rain showers, members of the RSL Lismore Sub-branch gathered at the cemetery for the annual blessing of the headstone.

RSL Sub-branch member the Reverend Graham Davis read a short service to a group of RSL and community members.

After the Last Post sounded, the Rev Davis spoke from the heart when he described the importance of remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Thank you very much, from three old diggers,” he said.

"This means a lot to us to have this headstone here.”

Rev Davis said he appreciated the community showing their support.

"Getting older you notice the fewer numbers marching,” he said.

"When Ken (Jolley) and I first came home we marched with the World War I diggers, we lined up at South Lismore and joined the main parade.

"(Now) we are thinning on the ground and these memorials mean more to use than gold, silver and myrrh.”

Rev Davis, who served in Vietnam, said Anzac Day services are very important to everyone who has served their country.

"This is an act of gratitude to the men and women service personnel in the light of Anzac Day,” he said.

Rev Davis said he wanted all retuned service men and women in the community to know they are welcome to attend the services and march with the sub-branch.

He said past service personnel of any age are urged to come along.

"The younger soldiers, either by their own election or whatever, tend not to concentrate as much together,” he said. "I believe this is as when we went to Vietnam we went as a unit, whereas they go as individuals and they don't have their cohort with them when they come back.”

RSL Sub-branch president Cecil Harris said it was good to know people acknowledged returned personnel on days other than Anzac and Remembrance Day.

"Because of the Easter holidays we hope everyone can come along to an Anzac Day service no matter the weather.

"A little rain is nothing compared to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Lismore Anzac Day services

Dawn Service

4.50am Form up at the Old Post Office

5am March off.

Main march

8.30am Form up at Clyde Campbell Car Park

9am March off.

The Commemorative Service and Wreath Laying will follow at Lismore Cenotaph.