Reflecting on a life cut short

BATTLE-TORN nations such as France and Turkey are recognised through inscriptions on the Terang war memorial but conflict still haunts the world, Anzac Day attendees were told yesterday.

More than 500 Terang residents participated in commemorations, packing out the RSL hall with many outside on Shadforth Street paying their respects.

The event was particularly poignant for former army driver Gabby Sachs, whose late husband Andrew also served in the military as a mechanic at domestic bases nationwide.

The couple returned to civilian life about a year before Mr Sachs died of a heart attack in December. Mrs Sachs attended yesterday’s service alongside her children, Tahnee, 4, and Braxton, 11 months. “I thought about Andrew a lot during the service, this is the first Anzac Day he hasn’t been around,” the Glenormiston mother said.

“We used to go to the dawn services and have a few drinks at the RSL afterwards.

“(Andrew) loved his job and just the mechanical side of things in general.”

Terang Catholic priest Gerry Prunty spoke about how Australia was fortunate to have the ballot box over the bullet, reflecting on violent clashes in Ukraine and other conflict hotspots around the globe.

Father Prunty said that Ukraine was a timely reminder that war was an ongoing moral dilemma for humanity that could only be resolved through peaceful negotiation and understanding opposing perspectives.

Warrnambool author Avis Quarrell told the crowd at the town’s cenotaph about her memories of World War II as a young woman keen to serve her country.

The Terang-born woman spent years trying to persuade her WWI veteran father to allow her to serve — she had needed his permission because she was under 21 at the time. “Finally he relented, very reluctantly, probably because he knew how horrible war was,” Mrs Quarrell said.

She had spent the war years in Victoria as a driver and mechanic and yesterday told Anzac Day attendees about her interest in poetry from the battlefield.

Terang RSL president Roger Primmer said it was pleasing to see schoolchildren, war veterans and elderly relatives at yesterday’s service.

alex.sinnott@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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