A brilliant blue sky on 12th August in Frank Ballance Park in Wyong was the scene for our plaque unveiling ceremony to commemorate the naming of Anzac Ave on the same day 100 years earlier. The students from Wyong High School Aboriginal Dance Group began the ceremony and two young girls from Wyong Primary School sang both verses of the National Anthem to close the event. All the students were great ambassadors for their schools.
Our first speaker, Ms Emma McBride MP, spoke about the Federal Government Anzac grants, which provided funding for our plaques, and also told us that her grandmother had lived in Margaret St Wyong just up the road.
Mr David Harris MP spoke about the trees that had been planted and former Wyong Mayor spoke about how progress had seen the demise of the trees.
The plaque was then unveiled by Mrs Tracey Smith, a great granddaughter of Mrs Emma Goldsmith who had unveiled the Honour Roll in 1916. The plaque is attached to the wall at the entrance to the park on the corner of Margaret St and Anzac Ave.
Mrs Pat Frewin, Wyong RSL Sub-Branch President spoke about the service that the local men of Wyong gave to their country and also about the Honour Boards in the RSL Club which were later viewed during a wonderful morning tea that the RSL provided.
The Tuggerah unveiling on 26th August was well attended, particularly by descendants of the original tree planters. The choir from Tuggerah Public School sang for us after President Kerrie had made an Acknowledgement to Country and welcomed our guests.
After our official guests had spoken, in a similar vein to their speeches two weeks earlier, the plaque was unveiled by Mrs Evelyn Gorton, a granddaughter of Mr Joseph Preston, who had planted one of the trees back in 1916.
At both functions our Anzac banners were on display and made a wonderful backdrop for our commemorations. David Harris acknowledged our efforts to commemorate our fallen soldiers in a short address he made in State Parliament and our President Kerrie congratulated all our members who helped organise and run these historic events.