Nov 11

Hundreds of Sunshine Coast locals attended the Maroochy RSL Remembrance Day service, at the Cotton Tree Cenotaph, to pay their respects to those who bravely served our country, this morning.

Maroochy RSL President Michael Liddelow, who is also a veteran himself, said it was a testament to the desire to acknowledge and thank those who have made great sacrifices in a number of conflicts across the globe.

“We are delighted that so many turned out today to honour our return service men and women on a day when, 103 years ago, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of warfare bringing an end to the First World War,” Mr Liddelow said.

“Since then, our community has stopped at 11am on 11 November to thank all those who have served and continue to serve, so to see the crowds turn out today, means a great deal.

“We don’t underestimate how important Remembrance Day is for our veterans, irrespective of their age, where they served or how long ago they returned home. Our World War II veterans — of which we have about 40 on the Sunshine Coast — are now all in their 90s or above and we saw many attend today.

“Services such as this, along with the other support provided by Maroochy RSL, ensure our veterans feel appreciated for the sacrifices they’ve made and for many, this forms an important part of their lifelong connection to the RSL.”

Sunshine Coast local, Graham Ellis served in the Australian Army for 21 years and said the sense of community that the RSL provides is exactly what veterans need.

“When I was discharged from the Army I moved to Maroochydore and the day I arrived my next door neighbour invited me to come to the RSL for a drink,” Mr Ellis said.

“It was the best thing that could have happened to me as he is a Vietnam veteran and he introduced me to his mates.

“The sense of belonging and mateship is something ex-service people miss from their days in the army and being part of the RSL gives you back that feeling.”

In Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is currently sixth on the list of Local Government Areas (LGA) with the most veterans, with close to 5,000 veterans calling the Sunshine Coast home.[1]

“Remembrance Day is an opportunity for veterans to congregate with the friends and family who have supported them on their journey and to reflect,” Mr Liddelow said.

“It provides a unique opportunity to stop, to remember and to say thank you.

“After a year of having to live stream the service, due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, it was wonderful to have everyone gather in solidarity at the Cotton Tree Cenotaph and we thank our veterans, their family and friends, our distinguished guests and members of the public for joining us.”

[1] https://www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-09/lgas_jun2021.pdf

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