Recreating the image of the Light Horse, Laurie Park mounted up and led an impressive march down the main street, past the pub, and back around in front of the Meeniyan Hall again.
There were precious few veterans in the ranks of the marchers and no Vietnam Veterans at all to mark the 50th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan, but the local RSL Sub-branch, their assembled guests, supporters and the local community did the Anzac tradition proud all the same.
And while the warm, happy scene of a community standing together as one was the feature of the day, those in attendance were provided a contrasting image by three students from the Tarwin Valley Primary School who had research the war history of three local casualties of the Great War.
- Edward Morgan Hughes: Born in Dumbalk, ‘Hughsie’ enlisted on February 7, 1916 and saw extensive service with the 8th Battalion in France in 1916, 17 and 18, often battling bouts of trench foot and flu before being killed in action on August 18, 1918, only three months before the end of the war.
- Roy Leigh Ross: A 21 year old farmer from Meeniyan, Ross enlisted on July 27, 1915. After serving in Egypt, he went missing in action, presumed dead on July 19, 1916, a mere matter of 20 days after disembarking off the boat in Marseilles. His body was never found.
- Henry Dixon. Arrived in Europe in June 1916 and was dead by November 1916 of wounds received, aged 21.
Scouts and guides, together with students from the Tarwin Valley Primary School, and a board range of other organisations joined march and laid wreaths afterwards,
Members of the Meeniyan Singers performed ‘Lest We Forget’, Sub Lieutenant Danica Thompson of HMAS Cerberus gave the address, Syd Jackson played the last post and was joined by school and local band musicians playing the British, Australian and New Zealand anthems and the whole event was followed by morning tea in the hall.