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Friday 21 April 2017

Broadmeadows MP Frank McGuire held his Side by Side ANZAC Day ceremony for the first time at the Maygar Barracks in Broadmeadows where the Diggers, Light Horsemen and Victoria Cross winners were trained and dispatched to fight at Gallipoli and the Western Front.

“This year we not only honoured the Diggers who fought at Gallipoli but also highlighted Australia’s liberation of the French town of Villers-Bretonneux, hailed as one of the greatest individual feats of the World War 1.”

Hundreds of local school children gathered at the Maygar Barracks in Camp Road Broadmeadows to commemorate the ANZAC values of courage, duty and mateship.

“It is important for our school children to know and understand Australian history and local heritage,” Mr McGuire said.

“This is particularly important for a community which has evolved into virtually a united nation in one neighbourhood,” he said.

Students learned the history of the ANZACs and their connection to the Maygar Barracks.  They also heard how the local school at Villers-Bretonneux was rebuilt using donations from Victorian school children and above every blackboard is the inscription: “Let us never forget Australia.”

Students joined in laying a wreath on behalf of the Broadmeadows community at the army camp’s lone pine and sung the national anthem.

Representatives from the French Government, the Turkish Community, the Australian Army, the RSL, Collingwood FC President Eddie McGuire, Essendon FC CEO Xavier Campbell and local footy officials joined the students and their teachers.

Following the formalities, students took part in a football clinic and inspected Army vehicles.

Mr McGuire thanked Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel, Wes Snipe and Warrant Officer, Sean Smith and the 4th Combat Service Support Battalion for making this an important community event.

The success of the day was summed up by the Principal of St Mark’s School Fawkner, Mr Peter Wilson who wrote:

Just a short note to thank you and your team for the wonderful experience you provided our students today at Maygar Barracks. All of the speakers were excellent and were very inclusive of the students in the way they presented. We were made to feel very welcome by the staff of Maygar Barracks.
There was a real sense of community. It was lovely to witness children who were born in many different countries come together to commemorate the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux and ANZAC Day and give thanks to those brave people who sacrificed so much to enable us to live in, as Eddie and Frank’s father called us “the land of opportunity.”


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