Grey day can’t stop honour

By Tate Papworth

Wild weather didn’t dampen the occasion when Keilor Cemetery marked the planting of a Gallipoli oak.

Despite torrential rain, a large group of people gathered at the cemetery last month for the official planting. Keilor Historical Society president Susan Jennison said the weather offered an opportunity to reflect.

“I had to stand out in the weather and host in my role as president and I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was,” Ms Jennison said.

“When the service was finished I was able to go inside a building, or my car. Our soldiers didn’t have the luxury.”

Keilor resident Judy Ralph (pictured) was a guest of honour at the ceremony. Ms Ralph, 81, is related to the four Anderson brothers from Keilor who fought at Gallipoli.

The brothers, who were Ms Ralph’s uncles, survived the war and returned home to Keilor. One of the brothers, Donald, is buried at Keilor Cemetery.

“It’s a meaningful place,” Ms Jennison said. “A large number of people in the community are descendants of those buried at the cemetery.”

The tree planted at the cemetery is a direct descendent of acorns collected by Captain William Winter-Cooke who sent them back home to his uncle at Hamilton in Victoria.