Preps learn local Anzac history

Emerald RSL president Peter Maloney answers the preps questions about the war.

By Taylah Eastwell

Prep students from Lilydale’s Edinburgh College were treated to a guided tour of Emerald’s Anzac Walk last week, in an effort to increase awareness around the meaning behind Anzac Day.

Emerald RSL president Peter Maloney and RSL member Daryl Bristowe guided the preps and their teachers along the audio walk, with students listening to a different story about local war heroes at each stop.

The Anzac Walk was a vision brought to life by the Emerald RSL in 2014. Beginning in the centre of town near the Cenotaph, the walk makes its way down Memorial Avenue and finishes near the Emerald RSL clubrooms at Anzac Place memorial.

Students learned that over 100 people working and living in Emerald enlisted to fight in 1914 when the government called on a generation in the country’s hour of need.

With Mr Maloney and Mr Bristowe both veterans of Vietnam, students raised their hands to ask questions about the war at the end of the educational walk.

Emerald RSL president Peter Maloney said the fact the children were interested was great.

“The school reached out to me which is always great, but the fact some of the kids wanted to continue listening was important. We’ve just sowed the seed I guess, which is the important thing,” he said.

Mr Maloney encourages other schools and classes to take part in the guided Anzac Walk.

“It’s part of our history and that’s important,” he said.

“What happens in families is people talk about their aunties, uncles, grandfathers fighting for Australia and we as an RSL reinforce that and give them something to think about. That’s what our job is, to make sure we don’t forget,” Mr Maloney said.