Flag Lowering Ceremony at the Shrine on Australia Day
The OAA Ceremony this year was a break from the tradition of holding the function inside Victoria Barracks and a reversion to a ceremony that had been conducted some years ago on the World War II forecourt of the Shrine facing the city skyline from St Kilda Road. The Victoria Barracks Officers Mess is still undergoing repairs from the damage caused by the March 2010 ice-storm. The Association is very grateful to the Shrine Trustees for allowing us to hold the ceremony on such sacred ground.
A huge plus of going public was that the people of Victoria could now be a part of this section of the Australia Day Committee’s program on our national day. So many families came up to us while the band and cadets were practising beforehand to ask ‘What’s happening? Can we stay? What’s the Order of Australia Association?’ and then sat on the Shrine steps in the sunshine to watch and enjoy the fitting finale to a day that started in the morning with the Flag Raising in front of the Town Hall and the spectacular and colourful parade down Swanston Street featuring all the nations and groups that make up this amazing country, Australia.
One hundred and twenty Association members and their distinguished guests attended the ceremony which was very ably compered by Don Kinsey AM. The military support was provided by the band of the 2/10th Field Regiment RAA plus musicians from the 4/10 Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment and an Air Cadet Guard under the command of Squadron Leader Albert Lindner, PSM. The Parade Commander was the Warrant Officer Ceremonial, WO1 Melville Frampton, who had only assumed his appointment a few days earlier. Special thanks are due to Lieut.Colonel Jason Cooke for his on-going support and to Daryl Pinner OAM and Geoff Christopherson AM for their careful co-ordination in bringing it all together. The young air cadets impressed us all with their immaculate turnout and precision. It was heart warming for us to see that our country is in the very best hands.
At the afternoon tea that followed the moving ceremony, Acting Chairman of the Trustees, and former OAA Chairman for Victoria, John Wertheimer AM told us of the wonderful display and education programs held at the Shrine for the visitors and children of Victoria.
We were so proud to be Australian, and look forward to seeing you all at the same time, next year.
Leonie Christopherson AM
New Members Strengthen Victoria Branch Committee
Subsequent to the Annual General Meeting in November, four new members have been elected to the Victoria Branch Committee:- Bill Horman AM, Duncan Stalker OAM, Paul Wheelton OAM and Jacqueline Taylor OAM. Profiles will appear in the June Newsletter.
All those who have been honoured with an Award are invited to become members of the Order of Australia Association. All enquiries should be directed to the Branch Secretary Marion Lau OAM Phone 03 9527 2262