Anzac Day United Service 1916
Locally, Anzac Day was celebrated by a United Service in the School of Arts, when a fine congregation gathered, representing all denominations, to do honor to the occasion. Rev. Edgar Potter presided over the meeting. On the platform also were Rev. P. M. Waterhouse (Methodist) and Ensign Cross (S. Army.) The meeting opened with the singing of the National Anthem, after which Rev. P. M. Waterhouse led in prayer.
Mr. Potter apologised for the absence of Rev. Father Vaughan, who was away at a conference at Moruya; and for Rev. J. Thomas, also away from the district. Proceeding, the rev. chairman said he was a little disappointed at not seeing the Hall crowded, as it should have been on such an occasion. He reminded them that it was not the Clergy who had moved in the matter, but that they had been requested to promote and conduct the meeting by the Mayor, the result of a decision of the public meeting. He then read the lesson.
Several appropriate hymns were sung, the united choirs leading to good eftect. Mr. Potter said that as Ensign Cross was himself shortly going to the front to him they had given the honor of delivering the address. The Ensign took for his text ‘How are the mighty fallen.’ He said that right through’ Biblical history, and history right down to the present, it was shown that no great purpose had been accomplished without sacrifice, and at a time and in circumstances when things looked dark and discouraging. He quoted the death of Christ, and instanced other important Biblical incidents. Often it was not till long afterwards that the good accomplished was realised, and the question was often raised, How are the mighty fallen ? Coming to the landing of our boys at Gallipoli, the question has been raised over and over again, ‘How are the mighty fallen?
We would have to rely on history to tell us in full the good accomplished by our brave lads that landed there a year ago. This was the first anniversary of that eventful day. And what a memory to many! Mothers, he said, be proud that you bore a son that answered his country’s call. Wives, be proud that your husband was prepared to sacrifice all in the defence of home and liberty and civilization. But what of us who are still at home, enjoying the comforts of home and civilization.
Let us see to it that we do our duty. Out yonder at Gallipoli our brothers gave their lives freely. How do we stand! Since the evacuation of Gallipoli the question is being asked ‘How are the mighty fallen? Many are inclined to regard the sacrifice as without good result. Just here he would like to remind them of one or two facts. On the Eastern front the Russians were being hurled back, and in the Caucusus they were sorely pressed.
To such an extent were they pressed, he believed they were quite unable to stand another ounce of pressure. What might have happened if the Australians had not kept tied up at Gallipoli such a large Turkish army can easily be imagined. But for the noble self-sacrifice of the Australian troops at the Dardanelles, quite a different story of the war to the present might have been writ ten. Mothers, sisters, wives, your sacrifices have not been in vain.
As in the past it took time to reveal fully the good results of sacrifice, so it is today. The band played the Dead March, the congregation reverently standing. A collection was taken up, Mr. Potter intimating that it would be handed over to the Patriotic Committee with the suggestion that it form the nucleus of a fund to assist any of our returned Soldiers who may need such assistance. Proceedings closed with the pronouncement of the Benediction by the Rev. Mr. Potter. Thus ended a good and impressive service. The collection amounted £4 2s 4d.
Story for the Milton Ulladulla Times, 22 April 1916
Photos from the collection of Ulladulla.info