Reserve Forces Day highlights Wimmera's service history

GREEN MACHINE: Rick Smith with one of the tanks on display as part of Horsham's Reserves Forces Day commemorations on Sunday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

GREEN MACHINE: Rick Smith with one of the tanks on display as part of Horsham's Reserves Forces Day commemorations on Sunday. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

SUNDAY'S Reserve Forces Day commemorations in Horsham have highlighted a need to preserve the Wimmera's service history.

Horsham RSL president John Brondsema estimated 600 people viewed a display of historic military vehicles, including an army tank, parked in McLachlan Street.

"There were a lot of people from 10.30am right through to about 2pm," he said.

Display organiser Ray Buckley said many of the visitors were children.

"They all wanted a picture next to the tank or motorbikes," he said.

He said tangible displays helped children gain a better appreciation of the nation's military history.

"They understand more of what went on when they see the vehicles and the uniforms everybody wore," he said.

Mr Brondsema said about 85 servicemen attended a Reserve Forces Day lunch in the RSL.

Special guests included Horsham Mayor David Grimble and wife Jenny, and Military History and Heritage Victoria's Daryl Moran.

"One of the things Dr Moran kept saying was that all of us should leave some notes of our service," Mr Brondsema said. "It's funny he kept saying that, because we have already started doing it."

He said boosting memorabilia and preserving members' stories had been a priority since he became RSL president eight years ago.

"Our memorabilia was a bit sparse when I first took over," he said. "Now we have so much memorabilia we had to get a container in the backyard."

Mr Brondsema said the RSL would continue its commitment to supporting the Wimmera's veteran community.

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