Lest We Forget
Published at: 06 May 2019
A message from the chief executive Matt Sharp….
Anzac Day is a time for all of us to come together and remember and recognise the men and women who fought and died for our country in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the globe.
It is a time to reflect on the qualities of past generations of Australians who in hardship displayed courage, discipline, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, resourcefulness and friendship.
We commemorate these people today, including all the doctors and nurses and other medical staff who were such a big part of WWI. In addition, we also acknowledge the impact on the families and friends of people involved in previous and current wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Lest we forget.
Anzac Day plays a vital role in commemorating those who have served for our country. Servicemen and women were remembered across the Goulburn Valley yesterday. We asked staff at Goulburn Valley Health what their special connection to Anzac Day was. Here is what they had to say….
- Kellie King, Intake Officer at Community Health@GV Health
Kellie King was brought up with respect for the defence force after her grand father Trevor McAnulty served in WWII.
“He used to march in Melbourne; it was a big thing for him,” she said.
And the respect flowed on to her son Jesse Beasy, who enlisted in the Australian Defence Force in 2017.
“My son applied for the GAP Year program,” she said.
“I’m a very proud mum.”
Now based in Adelaide, Kellie said this Anzac Day was the first she would spend with her son since he enlisted.
Jesse will make a presentation to a local Scout group alongside Kellie’s colleague Shaun Holzheimer who served in the Navy.
- Shaun Holzheimer, Corporate Services Manager at Community Health@GV Health
For the past seven years Shaun Holzheimer has been the bugler for the Numurkah Anzac Day Dawn Service after serving in the Australian Navy from 1986 to 2000.
But this year’s Anzac Day became a little bit more special for Shaun after he discovered a unique family connection to previous campaigns.
“Being an ex-serviceman Anzac Day has always been important for remembering and honouring those who have served,” he said.
“However this year it holds special significance as I recently learned that my uncle Claude Rudolph Holzheimer saw service during World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War.
“He witnessed fighting in New Guinea, Malaysia and was part of the clean-up force in Japan where he met his future wife Noria Asada.
“His wife had witnessed the Hiroshima bomb go off from the mountains where a lot of the children were hiding.
“Claude and Norie married in Japan and were one of the first arrivals out from Japan to Australia.
“Initially Claude was in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals, before later becoming a war photographer. He has over 1800 photos catalogued in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.”
- David Harcoan, Program Manager at Community Health@GV Health
In his role at Goulburn Valley Health, David Harcoan said he is privileged to be able to spend time with war veterans.
“Quite often my case managers are in the homes of men and women with connections to war,” he said.
“We do our best to support them.”
Both David’s father and grandfather served in Australian campaigns overseas which meant Anzac Day has huge significance for him.
“I try to ensure I always get along to a service as a mark of respect,” he said.
He said Anzac Day also served another purpose.
“Anzac Day is also a reminder of the destruction and devastation that can happen for so many and a reminder we don’t have to go through those things in the future,” David said.
- Sandy Chamberlin, Executive Director, Infrastructure, GV Health
If it were not for the Holy Bible sitting in Sandy Chamberlin’s great uncle’s breast pocket, he may have perished at Gallipoli with so many other Australian soldiers.
Her great uncle, alongside her great grandfather, were among the ANZACs who charged the cliffs at Gallipoli and consequently Anzac Day is of great importance to GV Health’s director of infrastructure.
Sandy’s great grandfather was also fortunate to not have been killed due to his small stature.
“He was only 5 ft 1 so when he jumped out of the boat he stepped in a hole and the water went over his head,” she explained.
Given her close connection to the cliffs in Turkey, Sandy – a New Zealander - said around 30 years ago she travelled to Gallipoli.
“I spent the night at Anzac Cove in a sleeping bag; it was the most amazing experience,” she said.
For Sandy, being at the place where so many ANZACs lost their lives gave her an eerie feeling.
“You got this funny feeling in your chest,” she said.
But the respect displayed for Australians and New Zealanders by the Turks was a sign of how far things had come over the past century.
Sandy said, for her, attending Anzac Day ceremonies was hugely important.
“I also encourage my children to do the same,” she said.
- Garry Hand, Engineering Contractor at GV Health
While his father was not allowed to serve, three of Garry Hand’s uncles fought for Australia in various overseas campaigns.
“My father was the youngest of four brothers,” he said.
Not quite old enough to serve in WWII, Mr Hand said his grandmother refused to let him enlist.
“His mother wouldn’t let him go,” he said.
With three uncles all serving however, Mr Hand said it had always been an issue for his father.
“The stigma against him because he didn’t serve was incredible,” he said.
While Mr Hand’s three uncles – Ron, Dave and Bill – all survived the various campaigns they served in, it was the constant battle with the stigma of not serving that took Mr Hand’s father’s life.
Mr Hand said his father eventually took his own life after suffering from mental health problems.
- Phil Stevenson, Volunteer at GV Health
While volunteering at GV Health, Phil said he was lucky to spend time with many veterans.
“A lot of the older patients, I’ll talk to them and often it will get around to the fact they’ve served,” he said.
Phil took his hat off to the men who used to serve, saying things were a lot different nowadays.
“They were so brave,” he said.
During his time attending Anzac Day services over the years, Phil said he had seen an increase in younger people attending the event.
“It’s become such a bigger occasion,” he said.
Phil said he enjoyed this time of the year, especially giving back to the community with his Good Friday bike ride which has raised $30,000 over the past 17 years.