Vietnam veterans honoured and anniversaries marked

By Madeleine Caccianiga

The rain stayed away for celebrations of Vietnam Veterans’ Day on Saturday, where more than 100 people braved the cold to honour the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Also in celebration this year was a special emphasis on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Coral-Balmoral.

Goulburn Valley Vietnam Veterans’ Association president Peter Dealy said the battle was a great awakening for him.

‘‘There has already been remembrance day services held in Townsville and Canberra on May 12, which was the start date of the battle that lasted 26 days and today we celebrate in Shepparton,’’ Mr Dealy said.

Guest speaker Brian McInneny, then a private, spoke of his time in battle.

‘‘In the Battle of Coral-Balmoral, not only did these diggers display and reform the Anzac spirit, they also wrote their own chapter, which is now added to Australia’s military history,’’ Mr McInneny said.

‘‘We share a special bond, one that is felt more than seen and is little understood by others.’’

The GV Vietnam Veterans’ Association, Shepparton RSL, State Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell, City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe, State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and GVVVA Patron Sharman Stone laid wreaths.

Proceedings were delayed for a short period of time because of a medical emergency.