ABOUT 40 old soldiers, family and friends gathered at the Memorable Order of the Tin Hats (Moth) headquarters at Eddie Grant Hall in Port Alfred on Sunday to commemorate Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day, to honour soldiers of the First and Second World Wars, as well as other wars since then, is an annual commemorative event held on the eleventh day of the eleventh month as a memorial of the armistice signed on that same day in 1918 to signal the end of World War I.
Remembrance Day is commemorated in many countries throughout the British Commonwealth.
TWO MINUTES’ SILENCE: The wreath-layers at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Port Alfred Moth’s Eddie Grant Hall on Sunday were (from far left), standard bearer Richard Francis, Ndlambe mayor Sipho Tandani, Major Walter Currie of the 1st City Regiment, Rod Smith of the SA Legion, Charles Macfarlane, chairman of the Air Force Association Wally Vandermeulen and Cecil Hones-Phillipson. In the foreground is piper Chris Terry Picture: ROB KNOWLES
The Moths themselves were founded in 1927 by Charles Evenden as a brotherhood of South African front-line ex-soldiers, and faithfully uphold the tradition of Remembrance Day.
ollowing a brief non-denominational service in Eddie Grant Hall those attending made their way to a newly-built cenotaph to lay wreaths in remembrance of the soldiers, of many wars, who gave their lives to secure peace and security for all South Africans.Ndlambe mayor Sipho Tandani laid the first wreath, acknowledging that fellow South Africans, black and white, fought to keep their countrymen safe during the dark days of the two world wars and other conflicts on South Africa’s borders.
Other wreaths from various battalions and legions followed in the suitably solemn ceremony.
Later, refreshments were served and friends and family listened to the old soldiers as they spoke of the camaraderie they experienced and dangers they faced when fighting for their country.
“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them,” is the time-honoured mantra stated at all Remembrance Day commemorations.