Town crier commemorates D-Day

June 13, 2024 BY

Here ye: Hepburn Shire town crier Philip Greenbank has previously taken part in global proclamations for anniversaries such as Victory in Europe Day and Queen Elizabeth's platinum jubilee. Photos: SUPPLIED

NEWS of the Allied forces landing on Normandy Beach during World War Two echoed from Creswick Cenotaph last week, eight decades on from the original declaration.

Hepburn Shire town crier Philip Greenbank was one of more than 370 town criers around the world to relay the proclamation under the organisation of England’s pageantmaster in acknowledgement of D-Day’s 80th anniversary.

As one of 10 Australian town criers to take part last Thursday morning, Mr Greenbank said he was pleased to see his words received by the community.

“It was great to have people there and to acknowledge what we were doing,” he said.

“Apart from myself, we had local council involvement, the local RSL, and members of one of the local walking groups who came past at the time.”

Philip Greenbank was joined by about a dozen people while reading the proclamation of D-Day on the event’s 80th anniversary.

The event marked Mr Greenbank’s fifth time taking part in global proclamations since 2018 when he declared the end of World War One on its 100th anniversary.

This year is Mr Greenbank’s ninth as Hepburn Shire’s town crier, having gotten into the role “by accident” as a result of in-character performances he’d put on during regular TAFE staff upskilling conferences while employed at the University of Ballarat.

Also serving as Creswick-Smeaton RSL sub-branch’s secretary, historian, memorabilia officer, website manager, and keeper of the crosses, he said his role on Thursday, and in his ongoing capacity, is about preserving the historic significance of conflicts past.

Philip Greenbank is a key member of Creswick-Smeaton RSL’s leadership, alongside his duties as the shire’s town crier.

“A lot of people don’t recognise the event of D-Day and how it actually changed the war in favour of the Allies,” he said.

“By being a part of this and advertising, people become aware of what actually happened.

“It’s the same as my role also with the RSL as historian. I’m apart of keeping the information alive, making sure people understand we’re commemorating an event and not celebrating it.

“A lot of RSLs like ours are so small, they don’t last and they’re often closing up around Australia, so by having the website, that’s recording our history and memorials around the town and district.”