Friday, July 1

Anzac Day commemorative service in Miri this Thursday


MIRI: Australians, New Zealanders and Malaysians here are to hold for the first time an Anzac Day commemorative dawn service at Piasau Boat Club from 6am to 6.30am this Thursday.

The service’s coordinator Curtin University Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor Ian Kerr said besides Australians, New Zealanders, Malaysians and other nationalities are welcome to the service.

“Anzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915.

The service is dedicated to all Australians and New Zealanders who died in various theatres of war, including in Malaysia, as well as in peacekeeping operations including the commandos who landed in Bario,” Kerr told the Borneo Post yesterday.

He said although there was no fallen World War II heroes here, there were many in Labuan and Ranau, Sabah.

Besides, it is timely that the service be held in Miri to commemorate the services of the eight commandos (six Australians, one New Zealander and a British) airdropped on Bario under the command of Major Tom Harrison to help locals fight the Japanese from behind the enemy line on March 25, 1945.

He said it was touching to see Australian Jack Tredrea, 93, the sole surviving member of that elite group who helped liberate Sarawak from the Japanese army through ‘Operation Semut’, visiting Bario recently.

“The Anzac Day dawn service in Miri will be a traditional service, with an introduction delivered myself, a commemorative address by Robert Young (director, Tenby International School) and the wreath laid by Lawrence Lai (Mayor of Miri),” he disclosed.

Among other activities are poem reading in remembrance for peace and for the future of New Zealand and Australia, ‘One Minute’s Silence’ (a sign of respect and a time of reflection on the significance of the ceremony) and flag raising ceremony.

Kerr expects some 50 people to attend the ceremony.

For details contact Kerr at 012-8773938 or Valerie Sollis on 014-3939072.