Fairfield RSL sub-branch senior vice president/treasurer Paul Bryant has encouraged the Fairfield community to take advantage of the world premiere of the new documentary Kokoda...The Spirit Lives at the club on August 29 at 7.30pm.
The screening coincides with the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Isurava in the Kokoda Campaign of 1942, a key event in the ultimate Australian victory over the Japanese invasion of Papua New Guinea.
Fairfield RSL is one of 42 clubs across NSW that will simultaneously screen the 1 hour and 20 minute film that tells the story of those who against all odds, withstood Japan’s previously unstoppable Pacific invasion force to preserve Australia’s freedom.
“It’s important to educate the kids about what they did at Kokoda. Our regular troops were fighting in Europe and North Africa and the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and we had to moblise to secure New Guinea which protected Australia,” Mr Bryant said.
“The only forces we had were the Militia who were badly trained and armed and never fired a shot in anger. They had to go along Kokoda and hold off the Japanese who greatly outnumbered them and were a well-trained unit who were successful coming through Korea and China into south east Asia and were on a high.
“To defend the track is one of the most important victories Australia has ever achieved in warfare because it could have led to the invasion of Australia.”
The documentary is the third in Patrick Lindsay’s trilogy of works about Kokoda and features interviews with Kokoda Diggers and vision from Kokoda in 1942.
Fairfield has its own link with the Kokoda battle.
Of the 38 Fairfield men killed in action during World War II at least five of them gave their lives in New Guinea and Bouganville. At least three were on the Kokoda track. Today, walking the Kokoda Track has become a rite of passage to many young Australians
For the past 15 years Fairfield RSL has sponsored suitable candidates from the youth club to tackle the Kokoda Track.
It’s important to educate the kids about what they did at Kokoda.Paul Bryant
Tickets to watch the Kokoda...The Spirit Lives documentary are $10 with all money raised donated to the Kokoda Track Foundation. Fairfield RSL will match the money raised dollar-for- dollar. The documentary will also be shown at Cabra-Vale Diggers and Mounties.