Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Australian and Borneo Connection at Anzac Day

MIRI: Anzac Day on April 25, which is often observed in a big scale in Australia and New Zealand, will also be observed in here.

The anniversary is to commemorate the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

According to the coordinator of the celebration in Miri, Dr Roland Dom Mattu, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey.

“The day is to remember those who fought for the freedom of others living in less fortunate circumstances. As a Sarawakian, I salute the Australians on this special celebration.

“Australians don’t glorify war; they don’t celebrate Anzac day. It is a sad day in remembrance of?those who fought and died for the Allied countries. It is also a time to reflect on the miseries of wars and appreciate peace,” he told The Borneo Post recently.

Roland said among those who died in the war was his wife Sheryl’s great-uncle Private Wilmot Ernest West, of Westbury, Tasmania (died in the First World War (1914-1918). On 7 June 1917 he was killed in action in France at age 22. He has no known grave but his name is recorded on the The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

“Sheryl’s godfather CT Robbie Robinson was a British Supermarine Spitfire single-seat fighter aircraft pilot for the Royal Air Force and Allied countries during and after the Second World War (1941-1945).

“He was shot down over Burma but survived. After the war he came to Lawas and flew the mission planes, often on medical flights throughout northern Sarawak. His local name was Daring and his wife Margarets’ local name was Renai,” he revealed.

Records also show that 1,609 Australian and New Zealand soldiers died in Malaysia fighting for Malaysia during World War 2 and during the Confrontation.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: The Australian and Borneo Connection at Anzac Day