Phillip Johnstone attends an early Anzac service at Cabarita Beach on Monday.
Phillip Johnstone attends an early Anzac service at Cabarita Beach on Monday. John Gass

Early Anzac service for Tweed

ANZAC memorial services in Tweed had an early start this year.

Thirty seniors of Tweedlesea Day Club payed their respects yesterday morning to current and past soldiers servicing in New Zealand and Australia.

Kingscliff RSL sub-branch ran the service with four war veterans from the club as part of the service, each with their handful of medals and weighty memories.

The group heard from sub-branch president and Vietnam War veteran Robert Brumfit who impressively had 25 years of service, throughout joining the British Navy and the Australian Navy.

Mr Brumfit also had sentimental moments in the Australian Navy, meeting his father in a British ship after almost 10 years since the bombing of his house during WW2.

The veteran recounted the many losses of the Anzacs throughout history, but one thing that was never lost was the Anzac spirit.

"Anzacs never lost their fighting reputation, they never gave up," Mr Brumfit said.

"Today we honour the great men and women of Australia and New Zealand.

"We will always remember them, lest we forget."

The seniors faced west, then east, then had their one-minute's silence facing north.

Among the war veterans, sub-branch welfare officer Phillip Johnstone wore his three grandfather's Gallipoli medals and his eight Vietnam medals.

From his war experience, Mr Johnstone said he would never return to Vietnam with too many shocking memories.

"I don't want to go back," Mr Johnstone said.

He vividly remembered when he brought three injured Viet Cong to hospital, but after recuperating they were then captured by South Vietnamese interrogators from Arvin.

They didn't last two days.

"It opened my eyes that [the Vietnamese] were not nice people amongst themselves," Mr Johnstone said.

"They were treated like war criminals," he said.



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