Nashos turn out to mark service days


GRAHAM Fenton was overwhelmed by the number of people who turned out to celebrate Australian National Servicemen's Day (Nasho Day) yesterday.

For the first time in the history of the Gladstone branch, Nasho Day was held at the Uniting Church.

"We decided last year that we wouldn't do the march through the streets as we had done in years past,'' Mr Fenton said.

"Marching in the intense heat was becoming too much for our members and they were not attending the service.

"So this year we opted for a church service.''

And as it turned out that decision was a successful one.

The Uniting Church was close to full as 17 national servicemen and their families and friends attended the service.

The organisation's patron, Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham, welcomed everyone to the service and gave a brief history of the organisation.

While most national servicemen didn't participate in active duty they were on naval ships that visited Korean waters during hostilities and were at the atomic bomb test site in 1956 at Maralinga in South Australia.

National servicemen were also placed on standby for active service during the Suez Canal crisis in 1956 but the crisis passed without their participation.

Mrs Cunningham said most Nashos regarded their service as a rewarding part of their lives.

That sentiment was echoed by the Association's President Graham Fenton.

"National service was great thing to do and most of us enjoyed our time in the service,'' he said.

Mayor Peter Corones also attended yesterday's service and acknowledged the work of the Nashos in protecting Australia throughout the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Councillor Corones congratulated the Nashos for raising community awareness of their contribution to the security of Australia.

"The Nashos' brought the efforts of the Vietnam vets out of the wilderness and into the public arena, allowing them the recognition they so justly deserved,'' he said.

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