Goonoo National Park to Dubbo Tuesday 20th October 2015
After an early start before sunrise, the Coo-ee marchers started out at 7 am on another long day, covering 31 km.
The Mayor of Dubbo, Cr. Mathew Dickerson, met them on the way, and marched into Dubbo with them.
The St Johns Eagles Marching Band participated with the marchers in a street parade which started at 4 pm, marching down Talbragar Street, left into Macquarie Street, left into Church Street, to the Dubbo War Memorial in Victoria Park. The band played Waltzing Matilda as they marched down Talbragar Street.
Then, and now …
Several hundred people watched them from the footpaths along the streets, with some waving flags.
There was also a good sized crowd at the commemorative service at Dubbo War Memorial, which commenced at 4.30 pm.
The Mayor , Cr. Mathew Dickerson welcomed the Coo-ee marchers, and gave a speech about the Coo-ees arrival in Dubbo 100 years ago.
Helen Thompson, Administration/Research Officer for the Coo-ee March 2015 Inc. (Gilgandra Sub-Committee), gave a speech about Joseph Patrick Wallis (also known as Joseph Patrick Wailes) who was one of the 12 recruits who joined at Dubbo, and who was killed in action at the Battle of Fromelles on 19th/20th July 1915, and Wilfred Ernest McDonald, who was born in Dubbo, and joined the Coo-ees at Wongarbon. He was killed in action on 3rd May 1917, near Bullecourt in France. His name is on the Dubbo WWI Roll of Honour at the Dubbo War Memorial (and also on the Wongarbon Soldiers’ Memorial).
Further information about these two Coo-ees can be found at: http://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/06/01/joseph-patrick-wallis/ and http://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/07/01/wilfred-ernest-mcdonald/
The Ode was read by Mr Tom Gray, Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch President, and local bugler Mr Alan Sloane played The Last Post.
The marchers stayed overnight at Dubbo Showground, and dinner was provided by Red Rooster.