Pipers from Cobram and Wangaratta attended the Cobram Barooga RSL annual Anzac dinner last Thursday evening at the Barooga Sports Club and played a selection of Australian and Scottish tunes to the delight of members and friends.
After the evening’s formal proceedings were concluded, sub-branch president Rob Brown surprised the audience with the announcement of a presentation of life memberships to two long-serving and very deserving members.
Catholic priest Father John Corcoran has been a dominant figure in Cobram and surrounding areas for the past 27 years, supporting community activities and helping those in need.
Mr Brown also referred to Father Corcoran’s advice and support to the RSL during days of remembrance, for prayers and church services in remembrance of the fallen.
Father Corcoran has also supported the sub-branch’s formal functions, and generously gives his time, regardless of denomination or standing in the community, as well as being particularly active in multi-cultural affairs.
In response, Father Corcoran said he did not see this coming and was for once lost for words.
Fellow life membership recipient Gavin Davey started learning to play the bagpipes from the age of nine and has been playing at all RSL formal occasions since he was 13, a period of 57 years.
His appearances include Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and various Carols by Candlelight in the Goulburn Valley and further afield.
He is a member of the Cobram and Wangaratta pipe bands and over many years has played with these bands and solo at many community activities, such as, fetes, weddings, funerals and a myriad of other places.
Mr Davey served in the Citizen Military Forces under the National Service Scheme.
His voluntary work includes aid to the local community giving assistance in times of critical emergency and high workloads.
Over the past three years he has given significant support to the Muckatah Landcare Group, mowing, assisting behind the scenes and at planting days at the local reserve.
He is not only a talented musician; he is a man of the land having lived at Yarroweyah all his life and having dairy farmed for 52 years.
He was also surprised to receive the honour of life membership.
The pipers concluded the evening with a rendition of Amazing Grace.