Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Centaur - 75 years

This year is the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the hospital ship Centaur by Japanese torpedo off the coast of South Queensland around 4.00am on 14th May 1943.

We like to attend the commemoration of this wartime disaster each year at the Australian War Memorial, in memory of Rob's Dad Allan who was one of the few survivors. Of the 332 persons on board only 64 survived. 

Each year at the Last Post ceremony there is a focus on someone who lost their life on the Centaur. Private Athol Povey (from Queanbeyan) of the 2/12 Field Ambulance was the focus of this commemoration. He was only 21 when he was killed, two years younger than Allan. There looked to be family members here tonight laying wreaths - so sad.......
The Last Post ceremony is perfectly beautiful; simple but exquisitely layered and disciplined. We were standing much closer to the presenters this year and got to admire up close the incredible synchronicity of the "catapault team" presenting arms. Their efforts were even more arresting than the the noisy mobs of cockatoos in the space of open blue sky above the Pool of Remembrance.
It's almost dark by the time the service has ended. We're surprised by the number of navy personnel and American Embassy people here tonight. Security is tight and there are quite a few black shiny cars waiting to pick up all the suits at the end of the night. The War Memorial however looks beautiful at any time of the day or night.

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