EMU PARK RSL SUB-BRANCH EULOGY MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR ROSS COULTER
We are assembled here today to pay a last tribute to our beloved comrade, Ross, who served Australia in times of war, and has now gone to join the great army of those who fell in battle in the defence of our nation.
Ross was called up for National Service on 31st January 1967 and saw overseas service in Vietnam from 18.3.68 to 12.11.68. The principal units Ross served with were – 3rd Training Battalion at Singleton in NSW, 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment
Ross was awarded the following medals and badges
– Australian Active Service Medal 1945 – 75
– Vietnam Medal
– Australian Defence Medal
– Anniversary of National Service 1951 – 1972 Medal
– Vietnamese Campaign Medal
– Returned from Active Service Badge
– Infantry Combat Badge
Ross completed his two year National Service obligations on 30.1.69 with the rank of temporary corporal.
This country owes Ross and his generation of Australians so much. He served his country in a time when the western world was engaged in an undeclared war against communism. Even through South Vietnam eventually fell to the communist North Vietnamese, his service contributed to protecting a number of other Asian countries from falling under communist suppression.
Ross served in Vietnam with the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR). It has been acknowledged that 1 RAR served at a time when the scale and tempo of Australian operations in Vietnam was at its highest. The battalion was involved in the Battle for Fire Support Base Coral, a battle that was on a larger scale than the Battle of Long Tan, continued for several days and nights, and resulted in Australian forces sustaining high casualties.
Ross came through the ordeal of war and returned to his civilian vocation as an Art teacher. His service record tells us how well he served this nation. How well he served his fellow man is known to all members of the RSL and members of the Emu Park community who stand and mourn with me today.
The records of the Emu Park RSL Sub Branch show that Ross had been a member of the Sub Branch since Kath and he moved to Emu Park some 32 years ago. When I became a member of the Sub Branch in 2005 and then President in 2009, I got to know Ross well and soon realized that he was a tireless worker for the Sub Branch and other groups in the Emu Park community.
In recent weeks Ross had been working on a Centenary of ANZAC Project Concept for Emu Park and last week he made a presentation of his concept to the Rockhampton Regional Council. For those who saw the article in last Saturday’s “Morning Bulletin”, would have seen it as an example of the creativity, the skills and the drive that Ross possessed. The Emu Park RSL Sub Branch undertake to do everything in our power to keep Ross’s vision alive and we invite other organizations in Emu Park to join us to ensure that Ross’ Centenary of ANZAC Project Concept becomes a reality.
I was honored and privileged to have known Ross and have him call me a mate. Ross had many mates in the RSL and in the community groups he was involved in, such as the Lions Club and the Art Gallery. His devotion to teaching is well known in Central Queensland and I am sure that he has many grateful past students from his days as an Art teacher. I know some are her today to say farewell.
As brother follows brother into the great beyond, we who are left, close our ranks to carry on the RSL tradition of unselfish service to the disabled and to the bereaved and to maintain the highest ideals of citizenship.
“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them.
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them.
Through dust of conflict and through the battle flame,
Tranquil you lie,
Your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.”