During his opening address, Moth Chris Sonnekus, Coalfields District Old Bill proudly announced that the Poppy day collections, the number of Veterans who took part in the Remembrance Parade (42 veterans) and the presence of members of the public, all toppled previous records. He hailed the good heartedness of Witbank citizens who opened their hearts and pockets to realize an all-time record amount of R14, 400 during the collections. He also paid tribute to Witbank News for assisting with the various articles that was published as a built up towards Poppy Day 7th November 2015.
The parade this year, Sunday 8 November, offered a refreshing new approach with MOTH Veterans smartly marching into the parade area to the military music, “MOTH March” or better known as “The Bridge over the River Kwai” Further lustre was added to the parade by the reciting of three war-time poems by Moths Neville Lynn, Mike Tammadge and Dion Slabbert. Reverend Mari Manders from the Hervormde Kerk, delivered an fitting message which was directed at soldiers’ outlook to change from “defence and fight” to “making peace”. A choir from Robert Carruthers primary School presented a master piece of the well-known Amazing Grace.
A chilling silence fell over the crowd when Seargent Major Dion Slabbert ordered the playing of the Last Post which timed in with the lowering of the Republic flag and the MOTH flag. A minute’s silence was observed, where-after the wreath laying ceremony took place. No less than 20 wreaths, by MOTH-, Military-, and NGO organisations and members of the public were placed on the Cenotaph located at Witbank Sound Memory Cottages.
Moth Len Bowker, Coalfields District Deputy Old Bill thanked Moth Sumarius Swart for the music, Robert Carruthers for the choir, Me Bettie Grove , manager of Witbank SM Cottages and her staff for their major part in the two days’ effort. He also paid tribute to the flag bearers Moths Lappies Labuschagne, Blacky Swart and Shawn Oelofse as well as the sentries Moths Redmond Lennox, Henry Du Plooy, Mark Wadlow and Corné Krafft. He concluded that each and every Moth as well as their partners and spouses contributed towards making the 2015 parade such an outstanding parade.
Moth Koos Kleinsmith of Gondar Shellhole closed the parade in true MOTH tradition.
The parade was followed by the traditional toasts and further entertainment by the Carruthers choir