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South Coast students pay respect to VP Day August 15th

Student March on VP Day - Moruya commemorates 75 years of end of WW2 VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day, also referred to as VJ (Victory over Japan) Day, is celebrated on 15 August. This date commemorates Japan's acceptance of the Allied demand for unconditional surrender 14 August 1945. For Australians, it meant that the Second World War was finally over. Official permission has been granted by NSW Police for a body of 10 participants (mainly youth) to march down the main street of Moruya (Vulcan Street).  They will be wearing WW2 era uniforms and carrying the flags of 1942 ABDA (American, British, Dutch, Australia) + the NZ flag and that of Papua New Guinea.  They will be given a Police escort.  Gary Traynor told The Beale "It is believed they are the ONLY youth/history group to be marching on VP Day in NSW .... if not, the entire country."  START TIME:- 11am   ROUTE:-  Form up at Russ Martin Park, turn left to march south on Vulcan Street.  Turn right into Mirrabooka Avenue.  Wreath laying at the wooden statue of the Dutch Airman outside the Air Raid Hotel.  Committed to preserving the memory of Moruya’s wartime efforts, Rotarian and local historian Michael Gold commissioned a statue of the Dutch Airman to represent what happened at the airfield. "We really wanted to identify someone who had actually flown out of Moruya airfield and taken part in operations. And we located a name that seemed to crop up regularly as being somewhat of a hero and his name was Gus Winckel. A pilot with the Netherlands East Indies Airforce, Gus Winckel distinguished himself by downing a Japanese Zero bomber in Broome before joining a newly formed squadron." The statue of the airman was hand carved by Bryan Carrick and is a tribute to the Dutch aircrew who flew Mitchell bombers from Moruya during WW2.

                   THE AIRMAN

This statue of a World War II airman was commissioned by Moruya Rotary Club to commemorate and acknowledge the service of allied aircrew, ground support and ancillary staff, who operated from Moruya Airfield during the war years. These tasks were anti-submarine warfare, reconnaissance, coastal shipping protection and rescue.  Along this section of coast many ships and personnel were lost at sea from submarine attack. The aircrew were drawn from Australian, British and Dutch Air Forces. Three composite Australian-Netherlands East Indies squadrons operated from Moruya.

The carving was created by artist Bryan Carrick, whose other works are a prominent feature of Moruya Township.

This statue was unveiled on Saturday 6th June 2009 by The Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, Federal Member of Parliament for Eden-Monaro

Michael Gold, President, Rotary Club of Moruya 2008 - 2009

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