THIS Run and Bike Show was organised by the Moreton Bay Chapter of Patriots Australia. Some 150 odd bikes registered for the ride, with at times some 200 bikes and 250 participants involved.
Secretary Roo addressed the audience with:
The 11th of November was proclaimed Armistice Day in 1918 commemorating the end of World War 1—the war to end all wars. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in France and the war officially stopped at 11:00 (The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month). This is annually honoured with two-minutes of silence.
Although Australia has a long and proud military tradition, the 11th of November is more likely recalled by the younger generation for the hanging of Ned Kelly in 1880, or the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, with the Australian Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, sacking Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and appointing Liberal Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister.
As ex-serviceman it is our obligation to see that those that fell serving this nation are always remembered, because without their sacrifices we would not be the country we are today.
It is worthwhile remembering some of the detail:
First World War (1914—18): 15,000,000 dead across the world; more than 330,000 Australians served overseas, and of these, nearly 60,000 died, 152,000 were wounded, and over 4,000 were taken prisoner, of whom 395 died in captivity.
Second World War (1937—45): 55,000,000 dead across the world; over 993,000 Australians served in the armed forces during World War II. Of those 27,073 were killed in action or died, 23,477 were wounded, and 30,560 were taken prisoner of war. Of those taken prisoner, 8,296 died in captivity. The bloodiest war the world has seen.
Korean War (1950—53): Australian casualties 1584, with 339 killed and 29 taken prisoner of war.
The Malayan Emergency (1948—60): 51 Australians killed and 27 wounded.
Vietnam War (1962—75): when the last Australian troops were withdrawn from Vietnam in December 1972, Australians had been fighting in Vietnam for more than 10 years. By that time more than 50,000 Australians had served in Vietnam. Battle casualties were 521 killed and 2,398 wounded, of whom 43 percent were National Servicemen.
Indonesian Confrontation (1963—1966): 17 Australians killed.
Gulf War (1990—91): Total personnel serving. 1,872 Army, Navy 1,581, RAAF 165; nil casualties
Afghanistan (2001—present): Casualties to date include 11 killed and 85 wounded; another Australian died while serving with British forces. One Australian has been awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia.
Iraq (2003—present): Australian casualties have been light, including two accidentally killed, a third Australian died while serving with the British Royal Air Force.
Peacekeeping. Although Australia has had peacekeepers in the field continuously for 60 years—in Indonesia in 1947 we were among the very first group of UN military observers—it’s commitments have generally been limited, consisting of small numbers of high-level and technical support troops (e.g. signals, engineers or medical units) or observers and police. This pattern changed in the mid-1990s when Australia became involved in a series of high-profile operations, deploying significantly large units of combat troops in support of a number of missions including those in Cambodia, Rwanda, Somalia, Persian Gulf, East Timor and Solomon Islands. Australia has been involved in close to 100 separate missions, involving more than 30,000 personnel. 10 Australians have died during these operations.
The military history of Australia spans the Nation’s over 200 years of modern history, from the early Australian frontier wars between Aborigines and Europeans to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and current Peacekeeping and UN Missions. During these conflicts, Australian sailors, soldiers and airman have often been noted for their humour, lack of respect for hierarchy but paradoxically, for both their fighting and their humanitarian qualities
Although this history is short when compared to that of many other nations, Australia has been involved in numerous conflicts and wars; we seem to like a good fight.
In total, during the course of these conflicts, over 103,000 Australians have died proudly serving this country.
We are here today to honour those that served before us and recognise those that currently serve and wish well to all those who will serve this great nation.
Wombat then followed with a poem and the Ode and a minute’s silence.
The clubhouse had a band, face painting for the kids, temporary tattoo artist, cappuccino van, band, adult ticket sellers, raffles, BBQ, and of course, a well stocked and utilised bar.
After the Run, there was a bike show and trophies awarded for the day. We look forward to even a bigger event next time.
The Patriots Australia Moreton Bay Chapter is proud to advise that thanks to the kind support of attendees and sponsors we were able to provide Breakaway Inc. (a not-for-profit community respite house located in Margate supporting people with disabilities and their families) an initial cheque for $2000; and a further donation is to be made upon finals reconciliation of accounts.
Words by Roo; pics by Jo