'A debt of honour': Remembrance Day a special moment for Bob
REMEMBERANCE day will take on a special feel for the people of Dorrigo and for one of their number particularly.
Dorrigo RSL Sub Branch Secretary Bob Denner received an OAM for his service to the Dorrigo community and veterans in the Australia Day Honours and he has been one of the driving force of WW1 commemorations in the town.
"The Centenary of the 1918 Armistice is a culmination of our focus on the WW1 timeline for Dorrigo and the 460 men who enlisted and the 47 who did not come home to their families," he said.
"It is a debt of honour.
"Our Remembrance Day Service in Dorrigo is normally a small event, but we saw that we had to bring the centenary of the past four years of World War 1 to a fitting climax and so honour all those who gave their lives during that time so that we could be the nation that we are today."
As a former military man with a history of service in his family, the significance of WW1 and the Armistices is not lost on Bob Denner.
"I was a Junior Legatee after my dad died from his WW2 service in 1945," he explained.
"My background is regular army; graduated from the Royal Military College in 1965, saw active service in Vietnam 1968/69. I left the army in 1982 as a Lieutenant Colonel and since then have been corporate manager in a number of industries, tree change farmer and now actively engaged in my community through the RSL Sub Branch, Legacy and the RSL Club in Dorrigo."
He described receiving his OAM as the "the proudest and most humbling day of my life".
Dorrigo will commemorate the centenary of the signing of the 1918 Armistice that ended WW1 on SundayNovember 11, 2018 with a wreath laying service at 10.30am and a march of veterans from Dorrigo Memorial RSL to the monument. This will include several features that will make it a very special occasion for all those attending, including the Dorrigo Light Horse Troop and a soldier in WW1 uniform.
Following the service there will be a community street party in the northern end of Hickory St from 12pm to 2.30pm. The street will be decorated with flags, bunting and banner and everyone is invited to take part in this celebration of peace. Entertainment is being provided by the Bellingen Big Band.
Families are invited to bring tables, chairs and a picnic lunch and enjoy the atmosphere of the event. There will be games for children and competitions for the best decorated table and period costume.
As part of the events leading up to Remembrance Day, Dorrigo businesses have been invited to create shop window displays that recognise the Centenary of the Armistice in the week from October 29 with entries showcasing Dorrigo's contribution to WW1 and/or how Dorrigo's war veterans have served their country subsequently.
Prior to the Centenary, ten brass plaques commemorating Australia's engagement in wars from the Boer War to Afghanistan and peacekeeping, will be placed at the base of the ten trees in the main street of the CBD.