Call for scholarships to remind of Anzac legacy

Major-General B.W. (Hori) Howard was guest speaker at the Illawarra Connection's April networking dinner. Picture: GREG ELLIS
Major-General B.W. (Hori) Howard was guest speaker at the Illawarra Connection's April networking dinner. Picture: GREG ELLIS

The Illawarra Centenary of Anzac committee is calling on the community to help it establish two perpetual scholarships as a permanent reminder of the early Anzacs.

Major-General BW (Hori) Howard, of Austinmer, made the call at The Illawarra Connection's April networking dinner.

Maj-Gen Howard is a member of the national Anzac Centenary Advisory Board which is advising the federal government on the four-year commemoration starting in August.

"I like to think we have a great plan," he said.

The Illawarra committee was established in 2011 and is chaired by Wollongong RSL Sub-Branch president Peter Poulton.

"From the beginning, we wanted to do more than commemorate the past ... important as that is," Maj-Gen Howard said.

"This led us to look at two themes. The first was to showcase the serving members of our Defence Force during particularly the Anzac Day march, which we want to ramp up considerably, and the second was to leave a lasting legacy of the centenary, which focused on the young.

"For the 2015 Anzac Day march, we have asked the Department of Defence for 300 serving members of the Defence Force plus a military band to lead the march," he said.

"We expect 100 from each service with the bulk of the army contingent coming from our own Reserve company. We are going to re-route the march to finish at WIN Stadium where we will replace the Town Hall service with what we are calling an 'event'," he said.

"We want the public to go to the stadium for the free event which will include music from brass and pipe bands followed by songs from the 200-voice Southern Stars School Choir and Australian music and poetry."

The entertainment will be followed by an Anzac Day service.

Maj-Gen Howard said a regional flagship of the Centenary of Anzac celebrations would hopefully be the creation of two three-year perpetual scholarships at the University of Wollongong.

They would each be valued at $5000 a year for permanent residents of the Illawarra who were descendants of those who have seen operational or peacekeeping service for the Australian or New Zealand Defence Forces or have seen such service themselves.

"But that will of course depend when the community gets behind us," he said.

The first fund-raising event planned is a Gallipoli Race Meeting on April 19 at Kembla Grange.


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