A respectful moment of silence was followed by the pounding of drums and the playing of pipes across Tasmania on Saturday to commemorate VP Day.
The day marked the anniversary of Japan’s surrender to Allied forces during the Second World War in 1945.
Multiple ceremonies were held across the state, including a march held by the St Andrews Caledonian Pipe Band at Trevallyn Dam.
The band played the composition VP-75 Lest We Forget written by composer Mark Saul as part of a national initiative by Pipe Bands Australia involving groups nationwide playing the tune at 9.30am in unison.
St Andrews Drum Major Peter Scales said it was wonderful to be a part of an occasion that brought together bands across Australia to pay their respects.
“We played through the rain … we had suitable wet-weather gear – no one was giving me the heebie jeebies,” Mr Scales said.
“It was a good turnout and a lovely affair, there probably would’ve been more people had the weather been kind to us.”
Pipe bands were also present in Burnie, Fingal and Hobart.
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In the state’s capital, Governor of Tasmania Professor Kate Warner along with Veteran’s Affairs Minister Guy Barnett attended a socially distanced service at Government House.
Professor Warner said the day was reminder of not only the immense sacrifice during the war, but of the work to receive recognition for that sacrifice.
“What I did not know and what considerably surprised me, was that Australia through Prime Minister Ben Chifley … had to argue first with Winston Churchill and then Theodore Roosevelt to appropriately recognise Australia’s role in the war in the Pacific,” she said.
About 30,000 Tasmanians from a population of 250,000 served in the Second World War. Additionally, about 16,000 Tasmanians worked in factories and farms aimed at supplying armed forces overseas.
Mr Barnett said it also important to remember the many prisoners of war forced into labour camps in the Pacific during the conflict.
Tasmania punches above his weight big-time when it comes to courage and sacrifice in times of conflict.
“It’s a very special occasion … many Australians still remember that time and we can say thank you for their service and sacrifice because the freedoms we enjoy today are a result of that service and sacrifice,” he said.
While also being the 75-year anniversary of the surrender, the day was made even more special given the context of Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean being approved for a posthumous Victoria Cross.
“It was a journey worth walking with the bumps, the hurdles and the knock-backs along the way and finally we’ve made it,” Mr Barnett said. Ordinary Seaman Sheean’s recognition marked Tasmania’s 15th Victoria Cross recipient.
“Tasmania punches above his weight big-time when it comes to courage and sacrifice in times of conflict,” Mr Barnett said.
Four Ulverstone World War II veterans Athol Brown, Brian Boney, Ron Walters and Jack Eaton received a commemorative medallion and certificate presented by Federal Braddon MP Gavin Pearce. .
Jack, 98, said while he appreciated the recognition it was sad that many of his fellow veterans had since passed. Ulverstone RSL sub-branch president Damian Griffin said it was an “extra special” day.
“I think we should commemorate it because if they hadn’t done it we may not be stranding here today,” he said.