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Transcript - 31850

Remarks at Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme announcement, Deception Bay, Queensland

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/02/2015

Release Type: Remarks

Transcript ID: 31850


Thanks very much indeed, Minister Ronaldson.

Thanks very much Luke Howarth for helping to push for this important grant and thanks all of you for your concerns to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who have gone before us.

I acknowledge the traditional owners – the Gubbi Gubbi people – their elders past and present.

I want to say that no one knows when he or she will make a first visit to Deception Bay, but a second visit is surely not fair off.

I do want to pay tribute to the Deception Bay community, because your local Member Luke Howarth says that you are exceptional people and exceptional people should be acknowledged by Government and that’s why I’m pleased that the Commonwealth is putting some $30,000 into this Centenary of ANZAC project.

It’s fitting that Deception Bay should be the site for this ANZAC commemorative project, because this has been a significant place in our military history.

It was an army camp for some 3,000 soldiers during World War Two, and that continued a military tradition that had begun some decades earlier.

Within weeks of the declaration of war on 4 August 1914, more 1,500 men from around Queensland and North New South Wales had enlisted.

They became the 9th Battalion and the 2nd Light Horse, they formed up at Enoggera and men of the 9th were amongst the first to shore on ANZAC Cove on the morning of 25 April 1915.

Those who lived through the first days of bullets and shrapnel, through the searing days to follow, stayed till the bitter end of the Gallipoli campaign.

At the start of the First World War, Deception Bay was just a tiny seaside settlement, and the region behind us was devoted to dairying and farming, but war touched these settlements.

Men enlisted as we’ve heard from Narangba, from Burpengary, from Redcliffe, and from Caboolture.

One in five of those who enlisted from our country in that time would perish in Gallipoli, Belgium, France and parts of the Middle East.

Those who came home were often wounded in mind and in spirit.

So this Centenary of ANZAC remembers the 400,000 Australians who volunteered, it remembers the 330,000 who went overseas, it remembers the 155,000 who were physically wounded, it remembers the 60,000 who didn’t come home.

The Great War was the crucible that forged our nation and that’s why the Centenary of ANZAC will be such a significant period of commemoration for all Australians.

As the historian Les Carlyon has said, if we remember them, if we remember what they did, they are still alive in our hearts. 

We should acknowledge – in the words of the official historian, Charles Bean – the good, the bad, the greatness, and the smallness of their story.

We should remember the terrible victory on the Western Front, as well as the magnificent defeat at Gallipoli.

In no way should the Centenary of ANZAC glorify war, but it should commemorate what is best in the human spirit, what is noblest in our human character and acknowledge that the worst of times can bring out the best in us.

So, I do congratulate the President of the Deception Bay RSL sub-branch, Peter Jones.

I congratulate everyone who has put so much effort into the application for this grant and everyone who is going to ensure that this place, where we now stand, fittingly acknowledges our glorious forebears.

Because of your work and your patriotism, we will remember those who gave so much and whose memory must live on.


Transcript - 31850