Some how John Binnies report was not received by Tony Keech for publication to go into the news letter so I have included it here.
I have taken the liberty of attempting to give a report on ANZAC Day 2015 in Sydney, including as many names of ex- 7RAR diggers in attendance, for the benefit of their mates who marched in many different locations around Australia.
Overall, I personally think it was the best Dawn Service and march that I have attended since 1969 and the weather was with us all the way. Over 30,000 people attended the Dawn Service. One of the most encouraging aspects was the number of young people in attendance and also the amount of people whose parents, grandparents or they themselves, were not born in Australia. The other moving aspect was that both the Australian and New Zealand anthems (both Maori and English versions) were played. The M.C, Lt Col John Moore OAM RFD ED conducted a very inspiring service for the last time after many years.
At approximately 6.00am, many ex 7RAR diggers congregated at our memorial in Regimental Square to lay a wreath for our 33 mates who did not return from S.V.N, plus Mathew Hopkins who was K.I.A in Afghanistan. The wreath was laid by John Binnie, the Role of Honour was read out by Pat Caffery, The Battalion Prayer was read by Ian Macay and the Ode of Remembrance was recited by Mick Craig. Others in attendance included Jim Slavin, Bobbie Moore, Blue Ward, Harry Monaghan, Johnie Davidson, Rod Lyons and Bob Murdoch.
Then it was a short stroll down to the “Fortune of War” hotel for a few early beers and breakfast. There were approximately 24 people for breakfast, as many had family and friends with them.
After breakfast, it was up to the Garrision Church at 8.00am for the presenting of the WW1, WW2 and 7RAR banners. Many thanks and praise must be given to Rod Lyons and Bobbie Moore for re-organising this service. It was especially important this year to present the WW1 7th Battalion banner being 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli. Rod and Bobbie were rewarded for their efforts with 60 people in attendance, including Sandy Pearson’s daughter. The new minister at the Garrison is Rev. Justin Moffatt who conducted a very meaningful service and is slightly more godly than the other Justin we all knew and miss! Rev. Justin Moffatt is a young and very impressive man of the cloth and is very enthusiastic for this service to continue. He was assisted by Miss Susan Deas on the organ and Mr Ian Cox on the trumpet, and rendered a very impressive Last Post and Revielle. Next year it is hoped that we can get some school children and ex-7RAR diggers who served in East Timor, Afghanistan and other theatres of war.
We stepped off for our march at approximately 11.30am and this year we had one band in front of us and one band behind us which made a huge difference. We had quite a good contingent of diggers in the march including Tony Keech who led 7RAR. Also spotted were Bernie Cox, Don Gilles, Kerry Schofield, Ron Myers, Daryl Chandler, Wayne Stevenson and Brian Broughton, who was acting as a marshall and was past RSM of the army.
After the march, many of the 7RAR 1st tour met at the city bowling club for countless beers and a buffet lunch. Those in attendance were Bobbie and Margaret Moore, plus their family, Davo and Chrissie and many family members, Sid and Susan Cole, Pat and Teresse Caffery, Harry Monaghan and his mate Bob Sempel (ex 3RAR), Ian and Gai McKnight, John Binnie plus son Ed and friends, Blue and Betty Ward plus Trish and Wayne, and Mick and Judy Craig. A great catch up with old mates and their families. I can’t really remember much more!