Local Australian Church Members Involved in ANZAC Day Events

Local Australian Church Members Involved in ANZAC Day Events

News Release

Members of the Australia Hebersham, Penrith and Baulkham Hills Stakes (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently participated in their respective local ANZAC Day Dawn Services. Hebersham stake members attended at Blacktown RSL and Rooty Hill RSL. President David Harper of the Hebersham stake presidency (diocese leadership) laid a wreath on behalf of the church in commemoration of the ANZAC's. Durga Owen (Hebersham stake's director of public affairs) and Jacqueline Donaldson, coordinator of the Blacktown Network of Faiths group, of which Hebersham stake is an active member, laid wreaths on behalf of their group. Durga remarked, "The ANZAC's are integral to the freedoms we enjoy as Australians and their sacrifices are commemorated by the Church membership in ceremonies throughout the country."

President Sierra of the Hebersham stake presidency, his wife Tasmin and daughter Annalise represented the Hebersham stake at the Rooty Hill RSL's service at the Pinegrove Memorial Park. Many members of the stake attended both services in commemoration of the fallen soldiers.

Sister Howard from the Penrith Stake laid a wreath on behalf of the Church at the local dawn services. Sandra Young of the Penrith Stake also arranged for a choir to sing at this year's services. She has been coordinating stake choirs for this event for twenty years. This year's choir had 40-45 people singing which is the highest number of participants to date. This wonderful choir tradition came about because of John Mellors. Twenty-six years ago, John attended the local Anzac Day Service and breakfast. He was concerned by the amount of people coming for breakfast and the lack of kitchen help. The following year, John organised a group of members of the Penrith Stake to help in the kitchen. He and members of the stake have continued their tradition of providing this service to the community every year since, for the past 25 years. In addition, John, who in the meantime, had built a wonderful relationship with the Penrith RSL, offered that the local Penrith Stake could provide a choir. That was the beginning of a new wonderful musical tradition; with the Penrith Stake providing a choir for the local dawn services for the past 20 years.

The Kellyville Ward (congregation) from the Baulkham Hills Stake also laid a wreath at the Castle Hill Dawn Service where many of their stake members attended. It was a memorable experience for those in attendance.

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