Parliament Rises To Remember Fallen Colleagues Who Served

Parliament Rises To Remember Fallen Colleagues Who Served

Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams joined with her parliamentary colleagues to honour two former members who fought in WWI and died at Gallipoli.

On 4th August this year the Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly, Shelley Hancock and the President of the Legislative Council Don Harwin announced that there would be an acknowledgement of the Centenary of World War One each sitting week. This practice will extend for the next four years until November 11, 2018 as Members in both chambers of Australia’s oldest parliament rise to remember the fallen.

On that day the Speaker remarked, “A young nation – ours – lost its sense of innocence. It committed itself to the conflagration, to the last man and the last shilling, because that is what Empire meant. It poured its blood into the soil of the Western Front and of the Dardanelles, where two members of this Parliament laid down their lives.”

Yesterday (Tuesday 9th ) the House remembered the events of 8 September 1914 when on the motion of the Premier and with the unanimous support of the House, the Members for Armidale and Willoughby were granted leave to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force.

“The names of these two parliamentarians, who were the first in Australia to enlist for active duty are inscribed on the sizeable plaque located on the wall opposite where I sit in the Chamber,” Mrs Williams said.

It was noted by the Speaker that Lt-Col George Frederick Braund, the Liberal Member for Armidale and Edward Rennix Larkin, the Labour Member for Willoughby ‘could hardly have been two less similar characters.’

Both Braund and Larkin landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 2015 and both lost their lives there and were the only two Australian parliamentarians who fought and died in the First World War.

“The events of a century ago changed the world forever and it is appropriate that politics is set aside as we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Mrs Williams said.

“Like other members I will receive invitations to attend many commemorative events and tributes during the coming four years that mark the centenary of WWI, but having the opportunity to hear about historic events and the ANZAC’s in the Parliament has been both enlightening and sobering,” Mrs Williams said.

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