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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13270

Mr GEORGANAS (HindmarshSecond Deputy Speaker) (10:45): I rise today to speak about the ceremony that a lot of us would have gone to on 11 November, which is Remembrance Day. I want to talk about a particular poet in my electorate who composed a poem which was read on Remembrance Day at the Hilton RSL at the West Torrens Memorial Gardens. This poem by Tonie Pannenburg, which I thought was particularly powerful, is, in its way, very, very beautiful. The poem is called Poppie Day, and it reads:

Scarlet poppies with stamens of black

We wear for the boys who never came back

The ones that lost youth in the fighting fields

The ones who used courage as their shields

For the boys that shed blood on the desert sands

And on the ground of foreign lands.

We wear the poppies with love and pride

While the spirit of youth walks by our side.

The memory of lads we loved before

Will live in our hearts for evermore.

Those laughing boys of yesteryears

Who sailed away on a sea of tears

To keep this land safe for you and me

They lay down their lives for you and for me

They lay down their lives to keep us free.

So long will we wear the poppies of red

To remind us that we sleep safe in our bed

That our children with in a land that is free

We salute the boys of Gallipoli.

It is a beautiful poem, and so poignant for any occasion on which we remember those who have fought for our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for their loved ones and fellow countrymen.

It was a lovely ceremony, as I said, held at the West Torrens Memorial Gardens. In attendance was the mayor and, of course, the President of the RSL, Mr Rob Mundy. This speech gives me the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the RSL and the West Torrens council, Qantas and Virgin. As you know, my electorate is right under the flight path next to the airport and the Hilton RSL and the West Torrens Memorial Gardens are exactly under the flight path.

Every year at 11 o'clock our ceremony is interrupted by flights. A couple of years ago, I wrote to the executives of Qantas and Virgin. I congratulate them because they have delayed their take-offs and landings by a few minutes to allow us to have that service uninterrupted instead of having screaming jets fly over. That has always been a bit of an issue. I am really pleased that they kept their word and continue to honour Remembrance Day.