August 12th, Canberra and Visit to the Australian War Memorial
The morning at the Caravan Park was busy with household chores, then after lunch most of the crew went out to see what Canberra had to offer. Six members headed to the Australian War Memorial which was a very touching experience – the exhibits are really special and one in particular was of interest to our cause, a photo of the 1914 rear gunner’s position which gave ‘Tail End Charlie’ its original meaning and was taken to mean last in line during the Mobil Round Australia Rally in1957.
The visit to the Memorial was really touching, especially for Ron and Kerry who were requested to lay a wreath during The Last Post Ceremony, a real honour. The family of a lost soldier had been invited to attend and were first to lay their wreaths, then a small group of visitors were next to follow as they laid their wreaths on the edge of the Pool of Remembrance. A sombre group left the Memorial to return to the caravan park.
A small girl named Evie had been found wondering the exhibition area quite upset because she had lost her parents and Ron was able to comfort her until her worried Mum and Dad appeared. After the Ceremony, Ron was happy to give Evie and her sisters Georgia and Bella a toy to remember the occasion.
August 13th– Canberra to Cootamundra
There was a very heavy fog early in the morning which cleared to another lovely day. The drive was broken up by a stop in Gunning for Morning Tea and to admire the many old Holden murals on the side of one of the buildings, then a drive through the beautiful hilly country where sheep, cattle and even goats were seen on the green pastures. Then on to Boorawa where members enjoyed admiring the many old buildings and our NZ crew member, Steve Day, honed his skills at separating wandering visitors from their loose change – he is a master of this art! Steve has an Aunt Jenny living in Harden and here we were greeted with a wonderful spread of goodies from scones with jam and cream to tasty cakes and muffins. Steve’s nephew Duncan and his nephew Zack had come by especially to catch up with Steve and to see the famous tractor. Jack was thrilled to go for a spin in Charlie to be presented with a TEC cap to show to his friends back home.
By the time we reached our overnight accommodation at Cootamundra, it seemed a very good idea to follow up on a suggestion from the Caravan Park proprietors that a very nice dinner was to be had at the local RSL Club, so all the members of our crew enjoyed a very pleasant evening with great food and again, a chance to see Steve Day in action! People were really generous to our fund-raising effort and seemed to enjoy his teasing way of approaching them.