KOTA KINABALU: The mood was sombre as the ‘Last Post’ was sounded and wreaths were laid at the Anzac Monument at Jalan Tugu here yesterday.
At the Anzac Day memorial were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai and the High Commissioner of Australia to Malaysia, Miles Kupa, who led the dignitaries in laying the wreaths.
The commemorative service began with the national and state anthems followed by the ‘Last Post’, a song that symbolizes the end of the valient soldiers’ lives.
The ‘Last Post’ originated in medieval times, about the year 1622 and was known as the
‘Retreat’. It was usually played at 2200 hr to call ‘the soldiers to retire for the night’ at the end of the day.
It then became custom over the years to play ‘The Last Post’ at military funerals and commemorative functions where the closing sounds of the music sounds out the sad farewell to ‘Lights Out, Lights Out’.
The ‘Last Post’ was followed by a minute of silence for the fallen heroes and the wreath-laying ceremony.
Prior to the service was a Lest We Forget run held early in the morning, which was a joint initiative of Athletics Australia and the Returned Services League of Australia to capture the Anzac spirit.
The run reminded the public of the most brutal and senseless slaughter of defenseless men in war.
Over 2,400 British and Australian prisoners of war (POW) were taken from Singapore in 1942 to build an airstrip in Sandakan where they endured the most appalling conditions in the Japanese POW Camp at Mile 8.
Between January and August 1945, towards the end of World War Two, they were made to march a torturous 160 miles from Sandakan to Ranau. Only six survived the prison camp and the death march.
Also present at the ceremony were Sabah Deputy State Secretary Datuk Joseph Guntavid, representing the State Secretary, Adrian Allan Richard representing the Federal Secretary of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Gerakan Sabah chairman Datuk Gordon Leong, Superintendent M. Chandra representing Sabah Commissioner of Police, Major Masbah Hassan representing Brigadier General Fifth Infantry Malaysia commander, Choong Chin Ann representing the Rear Admiral Royal Malaysian Navy, and a group of Australian students.