The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL | We all have an influence

Dean Lawson editorial 2 2017
RELATED STORY: Rupanyup celebrates 100th Beersheba anniversary

All you need to do in the Wimmera to feel small in such a busy and complicated world is to stand in the middle of a lonely paddock where nothing surrounds you except the sky bleeding into a distant horizon.
If you think too hard about it, the sense of insignificance can be overwhelming.
But we should never fall into the trap of believing that people in our part of the world can not make a significant impression in global, let alone national or state affairs.
While our vast landscape, stretching from the Pyrenees and Grampians to the Mallee, and our relatively tiny population suggest we’re little more than dots on the planet, history suggests much more.
We only need to consider last weekend’s First World War centenary commemoration in Horsham of a famous Australian cavalry charge on the wells of Beersheba in the Middle East.
The battle, which helped pave the way for Allied forces to reach Damascus, played a significant role in knocking Turkey out of the war. It was a significant achievement.
The event, history’s last full-scale cavalry charge, involving soldiers riding full tilt with drawn bayonets across three kilometres into the face of enemy fire, is the stuff of legend.
And it’s our legend. Many of the men in the saddle of their thirsty whaler horses who snatched a decisive victory were from regional areas across Australia.
Their numbers included young men from western Victorian communities including the Wimmera and Mallee.
In fact, Beersheba is on campaign colours of what eventually evolved into the Australian Army 15 Transport Squadron.
The squadron has its headquarters in Horsham and its depot, the former Horsham Drill Hall, is named in honour of Rupanyup’s James Lawson.
Lawson led the 4th Light Horse Regiment’s A Squadron during the charge.
A message in this is that we should never sell ourselves short, regardless of where and the circumstances involving, we live.
The Beersheba charge occurred in a fierce time of conflict and in reality is only one incident where Wimmera people had a profound influence in battle by putting their lives on the line.
It is also important to remember that our region, as humble as it might seem, has also heavily influenced international circumstances in times of peace.
We only need to consider our most glaring example – our farming communities – that do it every year as major players in efforts to feed the world.

The entire November 1, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Nov 1 2017

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