Bigger need to ‘never forget’
THE three unclaimed World War I photos hanging in Wilson McClelland’s office at the Lismore RSL Sub-branch after being found in rubble at the Lismore tip two years ago are symbolic of the forgotten fallen.
But Mr McClelland fears a lack of interest in Remembrance Day next week will render the commemorative day – like the photos – faded and forgotten.
Mr McClelland, secretary for the Lismore RSL Sub-branch, said while Anzac Day’s popularity was booming, Remembrance Day on November 11 needed to attract more interest.
He said more volunteers were needed before Thursday when the sub-branch kicked off its poppy badge selling drive.
“We desperately need fit people to sell Remembrance Day poppy badges around the industrial estate and CBD on foot,” he said. “Remembrance Day doesn’t get the attention that is needed. Every little bit helps.”
Mr McClelland was also concerned local awareness and recognition of active servicemen and women deployed to Afghanistan had waned. Last year the Lismore RSL Sub-branch sent 30 care packages to the troops, but this year had sent none.
He said the soldiers relished the care packages made up of books, tubes of Vegemite, Anzac biscuits and small Aussie flags that they used to decorate their barracks. He urged all Lismore families of Australian troops to contact the sub-branch so the packages could be sent.
Adding to concerns about ‘forgotten diggers’ was the rate at which returned WWII soldiers were passing away. “Last month three died. The month before seven passed away,” he said.
Poppy badge volunteers for Thursday and Friday can contact the Lismore RSL Sub-branch before 11am on Thursday on 6621 3851.