Page 27 - Chiron Calling Spring 2021
P. 27

                Australian Purple Day
The 24th February each year is War and Service animal day, in some countries it is also called purple poppy day.
This year 2021 consisted of many small events around Australia, due to Covid-19 restrictions relating
to attending numbers, but still a tremendous turn out to honour the war animals.
At the Toowoomba war horse garden memorial, the Australian War Animal Memorial Organization (AWAMO) Vice President Peter Kotzur and Deputy Mayor of Toowoomba Carl Taylor laid a wreath in the internationally acclaimed garden. The Heritage Rose garden won the 2019 World heritage award thanks to AWAMOs sculpture of a Light Horse surrounded by 50 purple war animal roses, exclusive to AWAMO.
Two members of the local council and State Government were amongst dozens of organisations that laid flowers around the RSLs war animal plinth, watched by a veteran’s assistance dog
On the 24 February – A ceremony for Blue Cross and for purple poppy day at the Goodna Women’s Axillary Returned Serviceman’s League took place. AWAMO had previously in 2018 donated a war animal memorial consisting of two plaques and a drinking fountain for dogs so it was an ideal location for both events.
Directly after this AWAMO President Nigel Allsopp who
is also the United Kingdom’s representative for Blue Cross Awards in Australia and New Zealand presented Australia’s third Blue Cross Award. The citation reads for courage in adversity.
It was a very special occasion as the Grandson of Bill the Bastard rider, Sqn Ldr (Rtd) Terry Shanahan who was present to except the
Blue Cross Award. The medal and certificate was handed over by Mr Graham Carter, Honorary Curator of the RSPCA and AWAMO Director.
Mr Shanahan intends to have
a painting of Bill along with the Blue Cross medal on display at the Australian National War Memorial
in Canberra. Various VIPs attended including veterans, members of Parliament, representatives from the Armed Forces and the President of the Australian Light Horse Association Mr Laurie Watts.
Various other events happened around Australia to mark war animal day- 24th February. At Redlands RSL added information
  A Queensland Police Explosive Detection dog takes a break from operations to lay down and think about war and service animal day, whilst wearing his purple poppy
  A cake was make by the RSL Women’s League to honour war animals
   Terry Shanahan Grandson of Bill the war horse rider in WWI, with certificate and medal from Blue Cross, with Graham Carter Honorary Curator RSPCA
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