The Town of Mosman Park’s ANZAC Day commemorations this year recalled the extraordinary sacrifice of one local family during the First World War, recalling events that took place on the other side of the world more than 100 years ago, with a strong local connection that is an enduring reminder of the power of family, mateship and sacrifice.
On a glorious and temperate autumnal day, community members gathered first for the traditional Gunfire Breakfast prepared by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Mosman Park-Cottesloe at the Alf Adams Pavilion, and then stayed for the Commemoration Service co-hosted by the Town of Mosman Park and the Mosman Park Sub-Branch of the RSL at Memorial Park, a fitting venue as it is a war memorial featuring plaques recalling the military service of many from our local district.
One of these plaques, installed at the base of Norfolk Pine trees planted in 1934 by families of local servicemen, marks a tree planted by Mrs Lilla Curlewis, whose four sons went to fight in the First World War, only one of whom returned to her. In his speech, his first ANZAC Day speech as Mayor of Mosman Park, Mayor Pollock recalled the sacrifice of the Curlewis family, and the service given by the four young men – Arthur, Selwyn, Gordon and George, all of whom landed at Gallipoli in 1915. Gordon and Selwyn were killed in battle, while Arthur succumbed to his injuries and died in Alexandria in Egypt, but George survived and returned home to his family. This story of one local family’s unique sacrifice was told with great feeling by Mayor Pollock and was well-received by the crowd, which included many members of the local deaf community, as this was one of only two services in Perth translated into Auslan.
The service was led by MC Dominic Letts and featured songs performed by the Mighty Camelot Choir and the Last Post played by local Scout, Alex Kinsey, a student of Shenton College. Wreaths were laid by many community members including Nicola Milsom, representing the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, Federal Member for Curtin, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Minister for Foreign Affairs; The Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, Member for North Metropolitan Region, Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Dr David Honey MLA, Member for Cottesloe; Mrs Rachel Thomas, President of the Shire of Peppermint Grove; and the Mayor of the Town of Mosman Park as well as Mr Kevin Poynton, President of the Mosman Park Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League, who also recited The Ode.
Wreaths were also laid by local school children and community groups including Mosman Bay Sea Scouts who joined with veterans in the march-past.
Following the service, hundreds of residents, friends and neighbours including the Town’s elected officials stayed on to enjoy morning tea provided by the Town of Mosman Park, and to enjoy community fellowship, sharing family stories of war and sacrifice, and reflecting upon the meaning of ANZAC Day. Lest We Forget.