Re: Anzac Day Greetings. (Auz & NZ)
Peter MacGregor (stoat@NEWTON.DIALIX.COM.AU)
Fri, 25 Apr 1997 22:54:22 +0800
Greetings all from 1st Dianella Scout Group (WA)
The Dianella Scout Group have been involved with a vigil at The Blackboy
Hill Commemoration site, on the outskirts of Perth, Australia for many
years. I have just recently taken up the position of Group Leader, after
having been a Scout Leader, and Cub Scout Leader with other Groups. This
was my first time at this particular ANZAC Commemerative site, so would
like to inform you of a little of the history of the site and what the
Scouts did last night.
Blackboy Hill is named after the Western Australian grass tree "blackboy"
which grew throughout the area. When Australia became involved in the
"Great War" in August 1914, the government moved quickly to set up a
training camp for the volunteers who immediately came forward. The area of
Blackboy Hill was chosen. A total of 32000 men trained at Blackboy Hill.
After the war the camp was used as an isolation hospital in the later half
of 1919 to cope with the outbreak of influenza. The site then fell into
disuse, and returned to its natural state of nature. In 1957 The Returned
Services League successfully requested that some land be devoted to
commemoration of the camp site. (It is now surrounded by a residential
The centre piece of the commemoration site is a structure commemorationg
the "spirit" that rose among the volunteer soldiers of 1914-18. It further
symbolises the passing of that spirit from generation to generation of
young Australians. The structure is a series of 4 arches at increasing
angles to vertical. The main axis of the complex is along the line of
sunset on 24 April, the evening before the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.
Last night we had approximately 100 Scouts from various Groups take part in
a very moving, and visually impressive sunset service. Following the
service the Scouts set up an honour guard until sunrise, when there was
another very well attended service. We used our Venturers (14-18yrs) to
march on and off the Scouts on picket duty, and they did a wonderful job.
It was the first time for most of them to do this, and all the Leaders in
the Group are very proud off the way they conducted the vigil. More Scouts,
along with ex service personel, and members of the public lined the
commemoration site for a dawn service.
The whole occassion was very moving and the Scouts present were extreemely
impressive in both their willingness to take part in the vigil and their
participation in the services. A credit to their Group, Leaders and
I look forward to doing this again next year.
Yours in Scouting
Peter MacGregor (stoat) Group Leader
1st Dianella Scout Group
City of Stirling District
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City