Last year’s Anzac Centenary commemorations raised more than $13,000 for the Legacy cause. It is hoped that the 2016 event will feature a reprise of that occasion when Mount Isa World War Two veteran, the then 95-year-old Frank Koitka stepped up as guest of honour. Frank hopes to be on hand again this year and will begin by firing a muzzleloading field rifle after a demonstration by gun expert, Craige Sherwood. Frank has been a familiar figure around Mount Isa over the years and is regarded as a virtual patriarch of the parish. Once he left the forces, he was master of all trades as he honed his skills as a fitter and turner, mechanic, blacksmith and boilermaker.
The shooting competition will serve to mark the centenary of those who fought on the Western Front in World War One as well as the half-century milestone of the Battle of Long Tan. Competitors will have the opportunity to shoot military rifles from those eras. Organiser Carl Sorrensen said all rifles will have open or target sights. Targets will be set at 50m and 100m, with the opportunity of joining in an accuracy test at 300m utilising a calibre of rifle used by competitors’ forefathers.
Robbie Katter, the son of KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, will be among the high-profile guests at the occasion. He has also helped to organise a bus service to take the local veterans to the range on the day.
The shooting event will cost $5 to enter, with applicable donations on ammunition fired. Raffles, food and refreshments will be available and there may well be a prize for best dressed entrant depicting any era or campaign representation. The major raffle will be drawn on Anzac Day at the home of Mount Isa’s RSL. Again, the task will be carried out by Frank if he feels up to it after all the earlier formalities.
The range is about 17km east of Mount Isa on the Barkly Highway before the Lake Julius turn-off. For more information, phone Carl on 0438 496 007 or contact SSAA Mount Isa.
Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering financially and socially after the incapacitation or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force duties. The organisation cares for around 80,000 widows and 1800 children and disabled dependants throughout Australia.
Founded in 2012, Soldier On aims to implement the reintegrated generation of serving and ex-serving men and women. To achieve this, Soldier On assists ex-military personnel by focusing on their physical and mental health, family, community, and their future.
The work of the nation’s RSL clubs is well documented and the organisation’s mission statement sets out its agenda as to “represent our members through effective communication, ongoing research and provision of quality resources and services that enhance the image and growth of our members’ business”.