Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This ANZAC Day Nakara couple Maria and Ian McCutcheon will be glued to the TV, waiting to see the memorial service at Villers-Bretonneux in France.
Maria’s son, Able Seaman Nino Libiran, will be part of the official Australia’s Federation Guard contingent at the service.
“After Year 12 at Casuarina Senior College, I wanted to serve the nation, to travel, and to do something different. Before joining the Navy I had one year break from school,” said Nino.
“The Navy has certainly allowed me to visit many places. I had my 21st birthday in East Timor and went on exercise in New Caledonia with the French Navy. I have also been to Vanuatu and have been to Hawaii four times.

“Then I volunteered for the Guard in 2010,” said Nino.
Almost 100 years after the First World War ended, Australians are still remembered in Villers-Bretonneaux. The Russian surrender in 1917 had freed a million German soldiers to fight on the Western Front. Their reinforced army attacked on 18 March 1918 and for the first month swept all before it. At Villers-Bretonneux on 24-25th April 1918, the Australians stopped them in their tracks.
To this day the village streets are named after Australian towns, and signs in the street ask visitors to ‘Remember the Australians’. After the war, the village school was rebuilt with money raised by Australian schoolchildren.
“On the day I’ll be in the Catafalque Party. We face away from the memorial with our weapons reversed.
“I’m very excited and proud to be selected - but I’m also nervous about getting things right with all those people watching on TV back home.
“Once it’s over I’ll be able to relax and get some presents on the way back through Paris. But if I tell you what I’m planning, it will spoil the surprise for my brother and sister,” said Nino.


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