RSL marks 100 years

RECOGNITION: Max and Sue Grund, Andrew Schutz, Vicki and Rob McFarlane and Bob Schultz of the Cowell RSL are preparing for Anzac Day.
RECOGNITION: Max and Sue Grund, Andrew Schutz, Vicki and Rob McFarlane and Bob Schultz of the Cowell RSL are preparing for Anzac Day.

ANZAC Day will hold extra significance this year for the Cowell RSL who are pulling out all the stops to mark the centenary year of the organisation.

Few documents remain of the early years of the group, originally named the Returned Army, Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League.

However the RSL still has a record of the first meeting on May 20,1919, where an eight person committee was formed.

Events marking the occasion are planned from dawn until well into the afternoon, beginning with the traditional dawn service at the Cowell War Memorial at 6.45am.

A second service will be held at 11am before the traditional Anzac Day sport is held at the Cowell Oval against Eastern Ranges.

The main street of Cowell will be closed off for the occasion.

Light horsemen will be coming up from Koppio to take part in the services, and a flyover by the Royal Australian Air Force is planned.

The RSL will be putting on both breakfast and lunch at the clubrooms.

The ceremonial atmosphere of the day continues on to the A grade football match, which will open with a reading of the Ode of Remembrance.

Sport for the day will conclude with the awarding of the Allan Wilson and Sister Mary McFarlane medals for football and netball, in honour of Cowell locals who served.

Anzac Day is just the beginning of the recognition of 100 years of the Cowell RSL, with a dinner planned for next month to mark the anniversary.

Descendants of the original committee and of past service personnel from the Franklin Harbour District are invited.

The dinner will be held on May 18, coinciding with the federal election.

While political representatives will be hard to come by that night, a former president of the SA RSL will be in attendance.

Local students will be involved in preparations, with year 7 students invited to display their projects researching the story of a fallen soldier.