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Tribute to the Anzac tradition of service and sacrifice

Lest We Forget: Rod O’Donnell, right, a former defence force member and now with NSW health, hospital GM Alison Derrett and Major David Czerkies after today’s Anzac Day service in Campbelltown Hospitals for staff and patients.

Not many people would know it, but Campbelltown Hospital has a strong link to the Australian Army.

Major David Czerkies, the keynote speaker at an Anzac Day memorial service in the hospital grounds this afternoon, revealed how in the 1980s and 1990s army medics were sent to Campbelltown Hospital for training.

Being a medic himself before becoming an officer, Major Czerkies participated in the training program.

“I was stationed at Ingleburn Army camp at the time and when Campbelltown Hospital offered to train our medics here we jumped at the chance,’’ Major Czerkies told the South West Voice in Macarthur after the Anzac Day ceremony.

Major David Czerkies, who has been in the Australian Defence Force for 43 years, is the senior recruiting officer based at Randwick Barracks 2nd Division HQ.

Having served in NSW, Victoria, East Timor and Fiji, he has no regrets about his decision to sign up with the Australian Army at the age of 19 on March 3, 1976.

“Why join the Australian defence Force? It gives you a sense of pride, it gives you a purpose; would I turn back the clock and do it all again? Yes, I would,’’ Major Czerkies told the Voice.

Staff and patients arriving to the Anzac day service in the memorial garden of Campbelltown Hospital.

Doctors and nurses and other hospitals staff, as well as patients, attended the solemn ceremony in the memorial garden of Campbelltown Hospital, which ended with the Last Post and a minute’s silence.

“Our defence force personnel continue to uphold the tradition of service and sacrifice established over the past 100 years,’’ Major Czerkies said in the Anzac Day address.

“We have pride and gratitude for all who served and for those currently serving,’’ he said.

Alison Derrett, the general manager of Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals, said this was the second year an Anzac Day service had been held in the hospital.

Also holding Anzac Day ceremonies today were Bankstown and Liverpool Hospitals, while Fairfield held one yesterday.

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