HONOUR: Jennifer Waldron, president of the Bundaberg and District Ex-Service Women's Association.
HONOUR: Jennifer Waldron, president of the Bundaberg and District Ex-Service Women's Association.

Bundy women to lead from the front at parade

FOR the first time in many years, the Bundaberg district's female veterans will lead the veteran contingent of marchers at the Bundaberg City Anzac Day March on Tuesday.

Bundaberg and District Ex-Service Women's Association president Jennifer Waldron is ecstatic about the decision and said it had been a long time since a march was lead by women.

"In 1967 we were established and the following year we were afforded the honour of leading the parade,” she said.

"Women led the parade for years and years back in those days.

"Then it dropped off and as other units had milestones that particular contingent led the march - that has been the tradition.”

SERVICEWOMEN: Bundaberg servicewomen (clockwise from above) Eileen Woods; Ethel Bourke, WRAAF 1962-1996, and Alice Bull, AWAS 1942-1945.
SERVICEWOMEN: Bundaberg servicewomen (clockwise from above) Eileen Woods; Ethel Bourke, WRAAF 1962-1996, and Alice Bull, AWAS 1942-1945.

In recognition of the association's 50th anniversary in July, the group was granted the leading position this year, an honour that Mrs Waldron said would be a highlight for their 25 marchers.

"It is great, it gives us a massive sense of pride,” she said.

"We will be marching at the 8.30am city parade and it is not just for our association members, it is for any service woman, past or present.

"All women veterans are invited to march behind our new women veterans sign or are welcome to join us.”

Alice Bull, AWAS 1942- 1945
Alice Bull, AWAS 1942- 1945

Mrs Waldron said not only would there be a great female presence in the march, but the Dawn Service would also open with an address to be given by Lieutenant Alison Cranston of the Royal Australian Navy and many female guest speakers would feature on the day.

"The stars obviously aligned in 2017 to put servicewomen in the spotlight for a few minutes on Anzac Day,” she said.

In the lead-up to the association's 50th anniversary, Mrs Waldron has also been busy organising a book filled with the stories of Bundaberg women from each World War and beyond.

Ethel Bourke, WRAAF 1962-1966
Ethel Bourke, WRAAF 1962-1966

"It took about five years in the making,” she said.

"The official version will be released in July, coinciding with the Salute to Servicewomen exhibition at the Bundaberg Airport.”

The book, called Special Edition Chests Out - Members Memories, will be available to purchase through the Bundaberg and District Ex-Service Women's Association.



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