Transcription of an article titled ‘”Coo-ees” at Lawson’ in The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November, 1915, p. 6.
“COO-EES” AT LAWSON.
“Give the boys a good time”‘ was the keynote of Lawson’s welcome to the “Coo-ees,” and that note was sustained from their first approach to the town on Saturday afternoon until they were farewelled, about half way to Hazelbrook. Half a dozen gaily-decorated motor cars, with a full compliment of fair passengers, tho Public School children, and half the population of Lawson; the President of the Shire Council (Cr. J. T. Wall), with Councillors Geggie and Staples and the members of the Recruiting Association, met the little army on Vickery’s Hill, and were formally welcomed by President Wall to the Blue Mountains Shire, after which a procession was formed, headed by the Recruiting Association and the Leura Brass Band, with the motor cars bringing up the rear. On their arrival at Bellevue Hill Park, each was presented with a packet of cigarettes from the students of Stratford School for Girls. Cr. Geggie, as the oldest resident, extended a welcome to Major Wynne, Capt. Eade, other officers and men. The formal reception over, the men at once availed themselves of the opportunity for a swim, and it did one good to see the evident enjoyment of a swim in one of the finest swimming baths on the Mountains. The ladies of Lawson and Hazelbrook, in the meantime, had all preparations made for a rush on the tea tables, but there was enough and to spare, and both officers and men expressed themselves as delighted with the meal provided.
In the evening a recruiting meeting was held in front of the post office; and, in view of the fact that so many men have already enlisted from this town, it was a surprise to find six more who were ready to serve their King and Country.
Sunday morning was a surprise packet. It was known that Colonel Ramacciotti would probably be up to inspect the troops. The Colonel arrived about 11 o’clock, and soon after the Governor-General arrived, accompanied by Capt. Hosketh-Smith, of the naval establishment at Garden Island. His Excellency has evinced the keenest interest in the march, and inspected the contingent when it was much smaller, at Geurie and Dripstone. The men were drawn up in preparation of an inspection by the State Commandant, Colonel Ramacciotti, who, accompanied by Major Edwards, of the Headquarters Staff, arrived about noon by motor from Sydney. It wan announced by the Commandant that the Governor-General was coming, and was on the road. On arrival his Excellency was met by the State Commandant, Major Edwards, Major Wynne and Capt. Eade. His Excellency, addressing the men, referred to the pleasure he had already had in meeting those who had first joined, but expressed regret that he would not be able to meet them on their arrival in Sydney. Her Excellency would be there, however, and she would give him a good description of it. They had not only shown endurance but military virtues on the march. They had shown their initiative in being able to provide for themselves. Self-help was the greatest of all military virtues on the battlefield. He hoped that when in camp they would show the same high standard of excellence. The movement had created a great interest throughout Australia and the Empire. He would have pleasure in reporting it to his Majesty.
Colonel Ramacciotti said they had put up a record of which they all might be proud. They had to live up to it, and let nothing tarnish it. He intended to put them into a battalion formed of country men — and the men in it had to be the best.
On Sunday afternoon a united religious service was held in the Bellevue Hill Park. There was a great muster of residents and visitors from all the towns, from Katoomba to Springwood. Addresses were delivered by the. local clergymen. In the evening, a song service was held in the Institute hall. A united choir from all the churches occupied the stage, and rendered the anthem, “King of Kings,” and members of the choir rendered quartettes, duets and solos. The hall was packed with men of tho “Coo-ees” and residents. Cr. W. G. Staples presided, and, in his opening remarks, stated that the service had been arranged for the men of the “Coo-ees,” and that doubtless many of them had often gathered round the piano in the old home and had a “sing-song,” and he wanted the men to realise that the meeting was for them. Right heartily they followed the conductor, Mr. T. Savage, who had the men and tho audience singing the old Gospel hymns and choruses as they had never sung them before.
A big gathering assembled to bid fare well to the boys on Monday morning. Prior to their departure, Mr. W. Lowden expressed the satisfaction of the residents on the excellent conduct of the men during Sunday. Cheers were given for the people of Lawson, for the “Coo-ees,” and the Lawson recruits.
The officers were entertained by Miss Barlow, of the Grand Hotel, to dinner on Sunday, a hospitality which was much appreciated.’
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