The annual Bangka Day Memorial Service is held at the South Australian Women’s Memorial Playing Fields, Shepherds Hill Road, St Marys and is the only Service of its kind in Australia. It commemorates all women who have served and died in our defence forces but in particular plays tribute to the Bangka nurses.
This year the Service was held on Sunday 16 February 2014 and celebrated on this day because in 1942 the SS Vyner Brooke was sunk off the Coast of Bangka Island near Sumatra. The execution of Australian Nurses by Japanese forces on Bangka Island, including Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy, was told by lone survivor Sister Vivian Bullwinkel.
Each year during the Woodlands era, the School Captains attended the Ceremony; continuing this tradition President Emilie Knight attends as a representative of the Old Scholars’ Association.
The Women’s’ Memorial playing Fields resulted from people who wished to establish a dedicated facility suitable for developing women’s participation in sport. It is a fitting living memorial to the extraordinary women who made the ultimate sacrifice and who should never be forgotten.