Chairman of the Burma Thailand Railway Memorial Association Eric Wilson OAM APM, Vice Chairman Ian Holding and Tour Leader David Piesse attended the 21st Memorial Service for ex Prisoners of War conducted by Mount Lawley Senior High School at Kings Park on 3rd May 2019.

A wreath was laid on behalf of the BTRMA by the Chairman and Vice Chairman.

The Burma Thailand Railway Memorial Association, the Ex-Prisoners of War Association and the Mount Lawler Senior High School have been associated with this function since 1997. Mount Lawley Senior High School has been regularly represented on the Quiet Lion Tour to Thailand for Anzac Day by students of the School

Again, it was a beautiful sunny day and a large contingent of people that included Arthur Leggett OAM ED, (President of the ex-POW Association), assembled at the Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial in Kings Park on 4th May, 2018. The service, now in its 22nd year, was co-ordinated and supported admirably by the Principal, Staff and Students from Mount Lawley Senior High School. This-included a wonderful choir, concert band and bugler Shannon Barrie.

The Australia Defence Force was well represented together with many veterans and their families. The Repatriation Commissioner of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC was present with other distinguished guests.
At the 2019 Memorial Service the Master of Ceremonies, Head Boy Ronan McEwen, opened proceedings with an Acknowledgement of Country and an address of welcome.

Mount Lawley Senior High School Chaplain, Mr Andrew Paul, presented the Call to Worship and referred to the first two students to attend the tour in 1998, Erin St Duke and Katherine Cooper, quoting sections of Erin’s address to a school assembly on her return. Mr Paul also referred to the value of the relationship between the Burma Thailand Railway Memorial Association and the Mount Lawley Senior High School.

The school choir delivered a beautiful rendition of the hymn Abide With Me.
School prefect Lucy Sutherland recited Psalm 121.
School Principal Ms Lesley Street addressed the assembled guests with an excellent presentation during which reference was made to the passing of ex-POWs Sydney Shaw, John Gilmour and Professor Alex Kerr since the 2018 ceremony.
Arthur Leggett OAM ED, addressed the ceremony with a moving speech during which he recited a poem, without missing a word, he had composed for the occasion.
Year 9 student Amy Carter delivered an address.
School Prefect Daniel Hall delivered The Lord’s Prayer.

Year 9 Councillors Ruby Molyneaux and Will Corbett laid the school wreath followed by many wreaths from individuals and kindred organisations.
School prefect Sophia Profumo recited the Ode.
Bugler, School Prefect Shannon Barrie rendered The Last Post and after one minute silence the Reveille.Flags were raised from half mast in perfect unison.
The assembly sang the National Anthem before Mr Andrew Paul completed the ceremony with the Blessing.

The service concluded with tea, coffee and light refreshments supplied by the catering students at Mount Lawley Senior High School – including a packet of Anzac Cookies.

Once again, a wonderful effort by all concerned.

Eric Wilson

Burma Thailand Railway Memorial Association.