Big idea to honour veterans in Casino
SANDRA HUMPHRYS wants to see life-size posters of the men and women who served and now live in the Richmond Valley.
The former army sergeant and current councillor was guest speaker at the Casino RSM Club on Anzac Day.
She told the audience of veterans and their families how she was inspired by a visit to the Anzac National Centre in Albany in Western Australia where she saw black and white photographs of service men and women.
"The life-size pictures of soldiers meant when you looked at them, you looked them in the eye,” Cr Humphrys said.
She wants to honour local service people and create the same impact with a similar photo display as part of the development of the Drill Hall site in Casino.
"These people sacrificed so much,” she said.
Cr Humphrys joined the army when she was 17 and straight out of Stanthorpe High School.
She trained first in signals and then worked in the pay-stream.
For ten and a half years she was in the army and one of the hardest aspects was leaving.
"It was difficult to integrate back into the community,” she said.
"You are sheltered and have a routine. I was displaced when I got out of the army.”
Her first job was as a creditors clerk in Casino.
Cr Humphrys was the first female junior vice president at the Casino RSM Club.
When she turned up for her first meeting, the group of men could not have been more welcoming, she said.
Last year, she was in New Zealand for Anzac Day and the New Zealanders had a "generous admiration” towards the Australian military, she said.
Second World War veteran Keith Rutley was in the Casino Anzac Parade in his wheelchair and holding his regiment's sign.
Hundreds of children in school uniforms marched along Walker St.
The service outside the RSM Club was followed by a luncheon and the traditional game of two-up.