Friday September 26, 1919
Bombala’s peace celebrations, although belated, were none the less enthusiastic and through. Wednesday last was the day chosen by the Committee, and it was fortunate that a fine day was available after all the changeable and disagreeable weather experienced lately. Early in the morning visitors to the town began to arrive, and when the time for the procession was due the streets were throned with people from all parts of the district eager to see what Bombala was doing to honor the signing of the Peace Treaty by the Allies and their enemies, and axious to take part in whatever was being done.
At 11.30 the procession moved off from the old post office, along Maybe and Forbes streets to the Show Ground. In front of the procession was Miss D. Gleeson, costumed as “eace”, and riding a white horse.Following came the Mounted Police, Sgt. McDonnell and Constable Champion. Then the order was :-
The soldiers numbered 45 and were in charge of Sgt. E. Skipper. They were, as they should be, the most admired in the procession. Many children were in fancy dress, and made quite a pretty sight. Several motor cars were nicely decorated, that of the Rev. Carruthers being exceptionally well designed and carried out. The tableau representing “White Australia” which finished in the rear of the procession, provided plenty of amusement.
The following procession prizes were awarded:- Best Decorated Car – Rev. Carruthers; “Allies” – Mrs. Stafford and school children; Original Costume, “Peace”- Miss D. Gleeson; Worst Turn-out, “White Australia”-Messrs. Pierce, Rickets & Co.
On arrival at the Show Ground the Band played the National Anthem and Buglers Sheaff and A. Beileiter soundesd “The Last Post” in rememberance of those who had given their lives for their country.
The Mayor, who had with him the hon. Austin Chapman, MHR and Mr W. Millard, MLA, addressed a few words to the large crowd assembled, and said the object of the gathering that day was to celebrate peace, which was not only a great and glorious peace, but as the Prime Minister said, was a grand and glorious victory. It was a peace that Australia was proud of, and the whole world was proud of. And who had brought about this victory? These men in khaki. (Cheers). These men were the defenders of Australia and of our nation. If we were not proud of them we should be. (Cheers). He would ask them to look upon these men in khaki as better man thany any of those who had stayed at home. As a result of their great deeds the name of Austrtalia to-day was known throughout the whole wide world. (Cheers). To the boys and girls he would like to say, if they heard anything said against the returned soldier, stand up for him and take his part. When they saw the Roll of honor in the School of Arts and in the street they should read through the names and commit them to memory, so that they would always remember those who had gone from Bombala to fight for their homes. (Cheers).
The Hon. Austin Chapman said he would like to ask this question: Do you realise what peace really means to us? What wouled have happened if the other fellow had won? What would have happened to your wife and children, to yor (sic) home, your furniture, your stock? No security of tenure and no title. And those were were responsible for the victory were represented by a little band of soldiers assembled before them. In Bombala the people had tried to do their best. Many men had gone to fight, and the women had shown what they could do at home. The women of Australia had opened up a new vista in this country, and as the name of the Australian soldier would go down into all time, so would the name of the Australian woman. He was very pleased to be able to be presented at this gathering and take part in the peace celebrations at Bombala. He had made two tours through this electorate during the past three years – one for men, and one for money; and in both of these appeals he made at Bombala he met with great success. He was pleased to know that Bombala was doing so well for the Peace Loan, and aslthough the closing day had passed he hoped that if anyone still had money available they would invest it in this loan, and thus help the boys who had been fighting and suffering for us. (Cheers).
Mr Millard, MLA, also mad a few remarks, the speeches, by request, being only brief. He expressed his pleasure at being present, and spoke in laudatory terms of the great work done by the Australian soldier, whose fame should never be allowed to fade. Small as their numbers were, they made their presence felt in the midst of the great armies of the world, and their services were repeatedly availed of to help in some critical or dangerous situation.
Cheers were then given for the Mayor and the Hon. secretary (Mr. Angove) and the crowd dispersed for the day’s amusements.
The children were presented witbtoys and other gifts, and dinner and afternoon tea were provided for them by a willing band of lady workers, under the supervision of the officers of the Red Cross Society.
During the afternoon several events for returned soldiers were competed for, with the following results:-
Soldiers’ Championships – C.H. Towenley 1, A Elton 2, A Beileter 3.
Soldiers’ Pillow-fight – O Trevanion.
Kicking Football – W. Booshang
Soldiers’ Handicap- C.H. Towenley 1, B. Irvin 2, R. Sheaff 3, W. Booshang 4.
Cock-fight – Stewart and Mustard.
Stepping 100 yards – J. Brotherton.
Cutting the Kaiser’s Head – A Staples.
Consolation Handicap – A. Staples 1, R Sheaff 2.
Wheelbarrow Race – B. Irvin and G. Love
The winner of the sheep donated by Mr. J. B. Sautelle was Albert Ingram, receipts (pounds symbol) 6 5s; and of the sheep donated by the Burnima Estate, W. Brothertopn, senr, receipts (pounds sumbol) 10.
It is not out of place to mention here that the most of the work in connnection with the organising and arranging for the celebrations was done by the Hon. Secretary, Mr. Angove, and all credit is due to him for the manner in which the whole affair was carried out. Certainly there were many helpers that day, but not only on that day did Mr. Angove work with the utmost vigour, but before and after there was a vast amount to do, and he did it.
At night one of the biggest crowds ever seen in a Bombala Hall assembled at the School of Arts. Many could not gain admission, and every available inch of room was occupied. The object of the gathering was to extend a WElcome Home to the following local soldiers who had returned lately:-
Sgts. E. Skipper, R. Stewart, Corp. A.H. Campbell, Lane Corpl. R. Doug, Ptes. W.J. Robbie, A. Elton, J.C. Campbell, H. Payne, C. Skipper, J. Brotherton, C. Law Hawk, C. Bellchambers, W. Reed. T. Smith, T. Dent, J. Gleeson, C. Dunn, A Beileiter, and G. Clark.
The Mayos (sick) presided, and after a short program of songs and recitations, he extended to the soldiers a hearty welcome back to their homes on behalf of the people of Bombala and distrct, and then presented them with the framed certificates similar to those presented to the other soldiers.
cheers were given and great enthusiasm prevailed at the sitght of the nineteen returned men on the stage who had come back to Australia after their fight with the enemy in foreign lands.
The Hon. austin Chapman MHR and Capt. Millard MLA , delivered their messages to the soldiers and people, and reminded the latter of the debt they owed these men – a debt that could never be paid.
Hearty cheers for all concerned were again given, and then supper was announced. Both Halls were utilised for dancing and suppers, and they were both taxed to the utomost to provide dancing room and supper accommodation for the great crowd. To give an idea of the number of people assembled, it is estimated that 700 people were fed at the two Halls, and still there was food over. Nothing bigger than this has ever been known in Bombala.