Phillip Island & District Historical Society

Launch of Anzac commemoration in cultural centre

Last updated on 17-Apr-15

Tonight about 90 people turned out to the launch of the Anzac commemoration display in the Cowes Cultural Centre. The society has a display of Phillip Island's Gallipoli veterans, put together by our president John Jansson. Steve Parker gave the moving welcome to country and smoking ceremony, asking us all to give a moment's silence to remember the aboriginal people who died in massacres and in wars. The Phillip Island branch of the RSL's president Tom Mallaghan gave a wonderful speech about how badly aboriginal people were treated when they wanted to enlist to fight in WWI. They were in fact arrested if they were enlisting away from their permitted area. Many enlisted as Maoris, Indians or Pacific Islanders just so they could join other Australians on the battlefields, and therefore there are no records of just how many aboriginal people served in wars for Australia, or who in fact they were. On their return they were treated with disdain, and some had their children removed while they were away fighting. Photo shows John Jansson and committee member Julie Box looking over the society's display.