The Ipoh Railway Station square was a flurry of activity yesterday morning, when foreign dignitaries, war veterans, students and members of the public came together to honour and remember soldiers who laid their lives down for the nation.
Among those present were Asst. Commissioner of Police Tuan Razali bin Ibrahim who represented the Perak Chief Police Officer, Commissioner of Police Dato’ Pahlawan Hasnan bin Hassan, Col. Stephen Hall (Defence Adviser, British High Commission), Col. Anirudh Chauhan SM (Defence Adviser, Indian High Commission) and Group Captain Wendy Horder from the Australian High Commission.
Also in attendance were Lt. Col. Malcolm Beck (Commanding Officer, 2nd / 30th Training Group, RMAF Base, Butterworth), Ken McNeill (International Liaison Officer, National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia (NMBVAA) Australia Inc States), Ian Holthouse (Naval Association Australia, Western Australia Branch) and other distinguished guests.
On hand to receive these guests were Dato’ R. Thambipillay (Founder President-cum-Patron, WIRA), his wife Datin Thavamani Thambipillay, WIRA President Mr. R. Jeyasingam and also WIRA committee members.
The Ipoh Cenotaph War Memorial commemorates those who perished during World Wars I and II, the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation. It also pays tribute to civilians and war prisoners who were victims of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway between 1943 and 1945.
Remembrance Day in Ipoh (sentinel remembrance at the Ipoh Cenotaph) is traditionally hosted on the second week of June. Yesterday’s morning service was organised by the Warriors’ Association Malaysia (WIRA) for the 14th consecutive year. Other related activities include remembrance services in Taiping, God’s Little Acre in Batu Gajah and Camp Syed Putra in Tambun.
According to Dato’ R. Thambipillay, what prompted him to initiate WIRA and organise remembrances services were awareness of the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in the defence of Malaya as well as his personal experience of those days of hardships and sufferings during tumultuous times.
Having been involved in the Malayan Emergency while he was serving in the police force, not only did he experience the harsh jungle life, he also witnessed the tragedies that touched both civilians and service personnel.
Surviving that dark period, Dato’ R. Thambipillay felt that it was only befitting for him to do something to remember those who perished in the line of duty. His first project was God’s Little Acre while serving as OCPD Batu Gajah, followed by the Gurkha cemetery in Kem Syed Putra. Last but not least was Ipoh Cenotaph.
Remembrance Day is an essential reminder of some people’s sacrifices for peace that we are enjoying today.
Event: Remembrance Day 2017
Venue: Ipoh Railway Station Square
Date: 9th June, 2017
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