Anzac Days 1916 to 1920 -

The first Anzac Day in 1916 was commemorated by an evening Memorial Service at Malpass’ Hall. Hymns ‘Abide with Me’ and ‘Lead, Kindly Light’, were sung and patriotic speeches delivered by Mr Poulsen, Head Teacher, Mr Frank Powell, President, Home Hill Chamber of Commerce; Mr Arthur Clayton, President, Inkerman Farmers and Graziers’ Association, also Mr Peter M Jensen. Sacred songs were rendered by Mr and Mrs Dick Kidby, Miss Scammell, Messrs Mickey Edwards and Soper. At 9pm, all stood in deep silence for one minute in honour of fallen heroes.

In 1917, Anzac Day was commemorated in Watson's Hall with speeches, patriotic songs, the one minute’s silence at 9pm, and the Home Hill Band. A committee was formed to decide on a fitting permanent memorial to the locals who had responded to the call of duty. £30 ($60) was collected that evening.

On Anzac Day in 1920, a sports meeting and social were organised. The boys, with something of the same spirit and nerve which carried them to and through the war, went into the preparations wholeheartedly. The public enjoyed a good day of sports with a varied programme containing many novel events not seen before. The Home Hill Band, under the conductorship of Arthur Farmer, enlivened proceedings at both events. Mr HJ Hayes ran the publican’s booth, and Mrs Scott attended to the confectionary stall. Mr Alexander Scott played the bagpipes. The officials were: Judges, John Power, Sylvester Day; Referee, Ernie Fenton, Starter: Alfred Richardson; Handicapper, Tom Whalen; Gatekeepers, Martin Nordberg, Alex Hamilton. Various profitable side shows were run during the day by Messrs Jack Neil, Frank Foxlee, Charles Beames, Charles Nordberg and Sylvester Day. The energetic secretary, Mr Charles Nordberg, was well to the fore in all the arrangements.

Event winners: Girls' race: Hazel Evans; Boys’ race: Richard Oats. Tilting the bucket* is a very amusing stunt, winners Messrs Curtis and Dayton. The Gretna Green competition provided a great deal of fun where a runaway bride had to mount the horse ridden by her lover, 13 couples taking part. In two instances, in their eagerness, the ‘brides’ pulled the saddles off and the rides had to be completed bare back. James Evans and C Gibson were adjudged the winners. Although there were many falls, no bones were broken.

In the 75 yards handicap, after three heats, the finalists were Jim Sheehan, J Thomson, Frank Foxlee, Les Jensen, William Bray and Arthur Brett. The winner was William Bray. The breaking the saucer finals between J Lennox, Reg Warren and Ernie Turnbull was won by Reg Warren. In Tentpegging*, none succeeded in lifting the peg, but Robert Trail was first in this competition. Stepping 100 yards (estimating the distance), brought out many participants, and the nearness to the correct distance by so many gives evidence of a few natural surveyors here. It was won by M Carless; W Towers won the throwing at the wicket, Jim Sheehan won the hop, step and jump and William Oats was the first to catch the greasy pig.

The social in the evening was splendidly patronised. Mr Robert Dupont furnished the music and Fred Vaschetti was the MC during the evening. During the social, Misses Margaret Lourigan, Lucy Scammell and Nicholson and Mr Robert Edwards rendered songs. The profits for the day were in the vicinity of £50 ($100) for the League’s funds. The Home Hill Honour Board was nicely decorated for the occasion by the ladies.

*Footnotes -
‘Tilting the bucket’ game, a part of Highland Games competitions -
A bit like jousting! Always the last event of the day. Probably, originally, played by a person riding a horse. Modern version - one team member rides a bike or sits in a wheelbarrow holding a long pole while his team mate pushes the wheelbarrow as fast as possible; the long pole must pass completely through a small hole in a metal plate attached to a bucket of water, get it wrong and the bucket "tilts" over and you get very wet! Photo, modern day competition
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'Tentpegging' is thought to have originated in India. Mounted soldiers would gallop through enemy camps, removing the tent pegs with their lances and swords. They would be followed by more mounted soldiers who took advantage of the surprise and havoc caused by collapsed tents and a confused enemy. The British Cavalry adopted the principles and adapted them as cavalry training drill. Military tournaments were popular before World War 1. The Australian Light Horse used Tentpegging as a training exercise before and during World War 1 and also held competitions. The army was still using horses and tentpegging for weapons practice at the beginning of World War II. The Australian State Mounted Police also adopted Tentpegging as a demonstration of their skill and horsemanship, participating in demonstrations and competitions at Royal Shows.

This is part of the Home Hill Chamber of Commerce History Website.


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