Horrendous near cyclonic conditions postponed the scheduled Storytellers on 21st April but fortunately all the presenters were available for the following Tuesday 28th April.
With 2015 marking one hundred years since the Gallipoli landing it was considered appropriate to have World War 1 and Gallipoli as the theme for the evening. There was literally standing room only as the meeting began to the stirring swirl of the bagpipes followed by Rosslyn Skinner presenting a well-researched story of her father’s War exploits in the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in the Great War (with some magnificent photographs). Rosslyn was aware that she had taken on a massive task in preparing for her presentation and the end result was something which she and her family will certainly treasure forever.
Rosslyn’s presentation was followed by our BBC resident historian George Franki, author of many War related books and articles,
summarising the extensive investigations he had done over the years on relatives of Club members and their War services and awards. Members have regularly been reporting that George’s research efforts have unearthed plenty of valuable new information about the War records of their relatives. Trust our George. Like a dog with a bone!
After stretching our legs we were treated to the sounds of the BBC’s own A Cappella Group. We enjoyed their well-rehearsed repertoire of War songs, with whistling to boot. On completion time permitted for some tasty ANZAC biscuits to be generously dished out courtesy of Eve Bagnall and Marg Carney. Members were then invited to take to the floor and spend a few minutes talking about their relative’s War service or related anecdotes. We heard from the likes of Janet Bagnall, Rob Johnson, Dick Thompson, Alan Gill, Sandy Longworth, Beach Thomas, Rosemary Christmas, and Gwen LaPointe. This was a somewhat cathartic session and the importance to each speaker was very evident.
The evening finished, later than normal, with another couple of songs from the A Cappella Group. Though undoubtedly there were many members present who didn’t have the opportunity to tell their family story due to time constraints, a good time was had by all. Maybe a similar War related Storytellers should be scheduled for the same time next year!