Port Fairy’s Doug Nolte has mixed feelings when Anzac Day rolls around each year.
Mr Nolte served in the Vietnam War in 1968 and said despite it being almost 50 years ago, it didn’t take much to trigger his memories from then.
“It’s one of those things that never leaves you,” Mr Nolte said. “It’s always there in your mind, visions of what occurred over there. I often have flashbacks at night.
“Jungle warfare is a terrible thing really. You can’t see your enemy in the trees.”
He said while the Australian soldiers were unfamiliar with the location and terrain, their counterparts had local knowledge with “things up their sleeve and implements to sabotage the enemy”.
“For a 20 or 21-year-old to go into something like that it’s a real eye opener and a very shaky situation.”
Mr Nolte co-ordinates the Koroit Anzac Day service annually and will also help with the Port Fairy service this year.
He said the commemorative day was bittersweet. It brings back memories of mates he’s lost on the battle fields, but seeing the community’s support for veterans’ sacrifices “can be joyful”.
‘It’s great to see so many people supporting you, especially young families, to know people come to support us and recognise what we’ve been through and some of the freedom we have given them over the years.
“We’re very fortunate to live in a country like Australia.”
Moyne Shire Anzac Day Services
Hawkesdale: 6am dawn service, followed by wreath laying at the streetscape area (in front of hall), followed by refreshments at the Hawkesdale Hall, 80-88 Penshurst-Warrnambool Rd, Hawkesdale.
Yambuk: 6.15am dawn service and wreath laying at the war memorial outside the backpackers hostel in High Street.
Ellerslie: 9am service Ellerslie War Memorial, Hopkins Highway, Ellerslie.
Port Fairy: 6.30am dawn service at Railway Place. Service and guest speaker at Reardon Theatre at 10.15am. March to Railway Place War Memorial at about 11am for wreath laying. Refreshments to follow at the RSL Hall.
Koroit: 12.30pm service and wreath laying at Koroit War Memorial, 64 High Street. Light refreshments to follow at Community Centre, 33 Mill Street.
Mortlake: 10am service gather at the Mortlake post office for a march to the War Memorial for a service followed by wreath laying ceremony. Morning tea to be served in the Soldiers Memorial Hall. There will be a memorabilia display in the RSL Hall. Mortlake post office, 89 Dunlop Street.
Macarthur: 11am Service at Macarthur Hall, 27 High Street, followed by wreath laying at War Memorial. Light refreshments to follow at RSL.
Panmure: 2pm service and wreath laying at the war memorial. Special guests include Major Colin Burgess (NZ), Doug Heazlewood, and Mary Harris. A plaque in their honour will be unveiled at 8830 Princes Hwy, Panmure. Light refreshments to follow at the Panmure Hall. There will also be a flyover by two Beechcraft Kingair 350 aircraft.
Orford: (note date – Sunday April 30) 11am service and wreath laying at the Orford Memorial, barbecue lunch to follow. Orford Memorial, 1 High Street.