If Smithfield RSL sub-branch president Bill Cruwys picked up shorthand his life could have turned out a lot different.
Rewind to the 1950s and the Fairfield West resident was a police cadet with his heart set on joining the force.
There was just one problem.
“I couldn’t pick up shorthand and it was one of the skills you had to learn,” he said.
“So my intention was to do a couple of years in the army and then rejoin the force a bit later on.
“I joined with a friend of mine and I just kept re-engaging for almost 20 years.”
He served in Malaya from 1959-62 and in Vietnam from 1966-67 as a military policeman.
In the lead up to Anzac Day, Mr Cruwys said all defence personal deserve recognition for their service.
“For me Anzac Day means giving recognition for what our defence personal have done over the years and the sacrifices they made for the good of the country and the liberties we have today,” the 79-year-old said.
“It’s why we have placed an emphases on the younger generation and doing Anzac Day services at local schools because in the years to come they will carry on the recognition of our troops and what they have done to ensure the freedoms we have today.”
Smithfield RSL will honour the memory of the fallen Diggers with a Anzac Day march and dawn service from 5am. They will also host a commemoration march and service on April 23 from 9.45am.
The Anzac march will start from Smithfield RSL car park and conclude with a commemorative service at McCarthy Memorial Park, opposite the club.
The march will see Smithfield RSL Life Members, community leaders and descendants of Australian soldiers march to pay their respects to those who have given their lives in service to our country.
Following the march, the club will host a free breakfast from 6am and conclude the day with several activities including two-up and live music.
Smithfield RSL’s Operations Manager, Wesley Komorowksi said Anzac Day is the “most important community event” of the year which sees community members from all generations come together to remember the sacrifice made by Australia’s servicemen and women.
“It’s truly inspiring to see families with young children join us every year for our early morning commemorative service,” he said.
“It’s great to see that the Anzac spirit will live on for many more generations.”
Anzac Day services in Fairfield
5am: Meet for Anzac March at Smithfield RSL Carpark
5:15am: Anzac March followed by commemorative service at McCarthy Memorial Park 6am: Breakfast
10am – 2pm: Two-up 2pm – 6pm: Live entertainment
5.15am: The fall in for the march will begin in Bertha Street, at the rear of the Club.
5.30am: Dawn Service will commence at the Fairfield War Memorial, Honour Avenue. After the service, breakfast at the club.
CANLEY HEIGHTS RSL
6.40am: Assembly at King Park 7am: March to cenotaph 7.15am: Service commences
8am: Breakfast 9am: Charity games/entertainment
Noon: Service at Mounties
5pm: Service at Triglav
5.30am: Parade formation at club’s cenotaph
5.45am: March to Cabra-Vale Park. 6am: Wreath laying and commemoration service (followed by breakfast at the club) 9am: Two-up
It’s truly inspiring to see families with young children join us every year for our early morning commemorative service.