Remembering fallen mates and family
By Sally Gordon
Anzac Day Day for many represents an historic tribute to the heroic efforts of our forebears and the human casualties of war.
For others, it's about spending time with loved ones.
McAuley Catholic College student Seamus Jabour yesterday marched along Skinner Street in South Grafton with his grandfather Gordon.
The 14-year-old had donned a dark brown jacket and collared shirt for the occasion and proudly wore his uncle Roy Jabour's military medals.
The young student stood with family and friends as he watched the South Grafton service at the riverside cenotaph. Seamus believed Anzac Day was a time to reflect on war history and an opportunity to spend quality time with his grandfather.
"It's a day to remember all those who fought in the war and a day just to be with my grandpa, because he lost two brothers in the war," Seamus said. "Marching in the parade meant a lot to me and representing my Uncle Roy. I felt proud and I was thinking a lot of my uncle.
"I have never met him but I've seen a lot of war videos and the amount of guts those guys had was unreal."
Seamus was one of hundreds of school children who attended the South Grafton service with pupils from South Grafton Primary School, Gillwinga, Nymboida and St Joseph's Primary also filling the park grounds.
A number of students laid wreaths to remember the fallen.
Mates Reg Goodger, of South Grafton, and Burt Dawes, of Minnie Water, laid a wreath for the 2/33 Battalion. Mr Goodger served in the Middle East and the Islands from 1940-45.
During his time abroad Mr Goodger was lucky to escape a plane crash which killed 79 of his comrades while they were lining up at Jackson Airfield at Port Moresby.
He said an American plane suddenly came hurtling towards them.
"It came up over the mountain, clipped the trees and ploughed into our battalion; I think 79 were killed and some of them were badly burnt," Mr Goodger said.
Mr Dawes said he had served with a wonderful body of men who were always willing to help one another.
"You relied on your mate for survival," he said.