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Suzi Koene, Alex Chandler, Gary Chandler, Eddie Koene, Ashleigh Thomas, Aiden and Dawn Manning attended a post ANZAC Day ceremony at the Ballarat Specialist School. A highlight was Suzi playing the trumpet. The kids absolutely loved it and we merited a lovely mention in the school newsletter.
We were very honoured to receive an invitation from Tabcorp Park to take a couple of horses along to their evening Race Meet on the Friday after ANZAC Day. Dean Lewis, Alex Chandler and Gary Chandler attended. Gary did an interview with the course announcer which would have been broadcast on the Racing Channel. Meanwhile, Alex and Dean enjoyed riding around the racetrack. The Troop have a long association with the Standardbred breed and it would be good to have an ongoing relationship with HRV and TabCorp Park. This was a good start.
Mark Campbell, Dean Lewis, Jayne Howley, Jenny Kilbourn and David Rees made the long (and early) trip down to Melbourne to ride in the ANZAC Day Parade. The event went well with the horses behaving themselves. There was some confusion with the organisers as to where the horses were supposed to fit into the parade, but then Barry Ingram stepped in and sorted it out and they were placed near the 4/19th Association.
Tim Chamberlain and Wayne Rigg attended the ANZAC Day parade in Willaura. The horses were very well received and greatly enjoyed by the spectators, and the organisers would be interested in having Troop members in attendance in the future.
In addition, some really great photos were obtained.
The Troop attended two functions in Creswick on ANZAC Day- the first was the dawn service on foot (attended by Lachlan Thomas, Gary Chandler, Jordan Thomas, Jessie Koene, Terese Binns and Alex Chandler) and then later the Troop rode in the ANZAC Day march up the high street and then lined up during the main service. Afterwards, members of the public were encouraged to come up and pat the horses. The following were in the parade:
On foot- Molly, Suzi Koene, Lachlan Thomas, Renee and Gary Chandler
Mounted- Alex Chandler, Ryan Decker, Maggie Koene, Jessie Koene, Lynn Koene, Ashleigh Thomas, Aidan, Keith Day, Terese Binns, Di Smith, Dawn Manning, Jordan Thomas, Ruth and Matthew Myers
Riders: Barry Ingram, Alex Chandler, Matthew Myers, Terese Binns, Dawn Manning, Maggie Koene, David Rees, Lyn Koene, Aiden, Bruce McClean, Dean Lewis, Jayne Howley, Ashleigh Thomas, Ryan Decker, Dianne Smith, Mark Campbell, Keith Day and Jenny Kilbourne
On Foot: Renee, Dean McGuire, Chase Day, Charlie Day, Martin Godwin, Gary Chandler and- of course- Hugo!!!
Helpers were : Jessie Koene (on Foot), Neil Decker (Pooper Trooper), Ardyn Decker (photographs and moral support) and Jenny Rees.
As always, the RSL took great care of us- with the drinks and nibbles appreciated after the march. It was also a real treat to have Barry ride with us, he looked like he was having a good time too.
Gary Chandler, Alex Chandler, Mark Campbell, Ryan Decker, Jessie Koene, Suzi Koene, new recruit Dean Maguire and myself conducted the Ceremony of the Unknown Soldier at the Southern Cross Lodge in Maldon on Thursday the 11th of April. We were well supported by other members of the troop and we thank them for that. Mollie Longwill was also in attendance in her nurse’s uniform.
The team did an excellent job and a special mention needs to go to Dean who only attended four training nights and put in an outstanding effort. It was once again a very moving and thought provoking ceremony for those in attendance.
There were a large number of freemasons in attendance as well as a lot of guests from the RSL and general public. Our ceremony was well received and appreciated by all of. It was complimented by the lodge’s own ceremony of the vacant chair.
This ceremony is done each year to remember those lodge members who did not return. Southern Cross Lodge is a stout supporter of the Light Horse and this was demonstrated by a very generous donation of $634. This included an amount of $267 which was last year’s donation which for some unbeknown reason failed to be deposited (I think someone may have old-timers’. Yep me).
I would like to thank the team members for their efforts and the light horse members that came along to support.
The Troop received their first ever invitation to attend the Ballan Autumn Festival Parade. Luckily it wasn’t too early a start on a Sunday morning. The Troop were well represented in Gary Chandler, Lynne Koene, Keith Day, Martin Godwin, Jane Howley, Chase Day, Michael Whitehead, Dean Lewis, Dave Rees and Charlie Day. In addition, Neil Decker and Brad Decker were performing manure collection duties.
The horses performed very well- with the parade going up the main street of Ballan, through a street market: there were vendor’s stalls, PowerFM, flags, music and even a bouncy castle! It all went so well that when we had finished our march up the main street, we went around the back and went through a second time!
As always, the feedback from the organisers was very positive.
Over the Labour Day Long Weekend, the Troop headed north second annual Seymour Military Heritage Weekend. This weekend long celebration of Seymour’s long standing relationship with the Australian Defence Force allows military enthusiasts up close to the action, equipment, and heritage sites that will bring history to life. The main focus of this year’s event was the Stage 2 opening of the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk on the Saturday followed by a Military vehicle parade and Guided tours of the Australian Light Horse Memorial Park on the Sunday.
The main contingent of the Troop headed up on Friday night, with others arriving on the Saturday. Once again we were given use of the wonderful RDA facilities at the Seymour Showground. The excellent yards and large shed make camping there comfortable for riders and horses.
On Saturday the main responsibility of the Troop was to be a presence around the Town and also to be part of the fair occurring at the Showgrounds. A small group (Keith Day, Chase Day and David Hutchinson) chose to stay around the fairground area whilst the main body of the Troop (Alex Chandler, Jessie Koene, Lynne Koene, Mark Campbell, Dave Rees, Dawn Manning, in the morning with the addition of Gary Chandler and Michael Whitehead in the afternoon, and the Pooper Troopers Ed Koene, Neil Decker and Brad Decker) paraded around the fairground and the town. The riders and horses were well received by the spectators. It was then back to camp for rest and sustenance before the choice of either an outdoor movie or beer & BS around the campground rounded off with some fireworks and a howitzer (much to the consternation of the horses!).
On Sunday Keith and Chase went home, but the Troop were joined by Maggie Koene to take up duties at Light Horse Park as part of two heritage tours. The day was long, and hot, and dry- but everyone performed well and the horses once again made a spectacular sight coming up the hill.
The feedback from the organisers was very positive and they were really happy with the performance of the Troop.
A big thank you to everyone who made the trip to Seymour, both riders and helpers, and also to Peter Day of Seymour Produce for donating the feed for the weekend.
CLH Member Chase Day and her Waler gelding Talara Jamiesun attended the final day of Equitana for the launch of the Waler Legacy Project (http://www.equitana.com.au/the-waler-legacy/). For this project six horse trainers have been allocated six Walers caught from the wild in Central Australia. As part of the launch, Chase and Jamiesun wore their Light Horse Uniform, with Jamiesun bearing a saddle with Reversed Boots.