Sir Peter Cosgrove Wows at Men’s Breakfast

Written by: The Hilltops Phoenix

IMAGE: Sir Peter Cosgrove speaking at the Mens Breakfast.
IMAGE: Sir Peter Cosgrove speaking at the Mens Breakfast.

General Sir Peter John Cosgrove, AK, CVO, MC wowed fellow dignitaries and guests at St John’s Anglican Church Men’s Breakfast in Young last Saturday 29th January.

After a two-year COVID induced hiatus, this was the fifth Men’s Breakfast conducted by the Church.

The Breakfast is an opportunity for men from the Hilltops region to fellowship with one another and enjoy the wisdom provided by inspirational guest speakers.

Around 100 men were in attendance on Saturday morning, and the delicious breakfast, generously provided by the women of the parish including Mayor Margaret Roles, was enjoyed by all.

The main address was delivered by General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who spoke about the role of the Australian Governor General, a role he fulfilled from 2014-2019.

Perhaps because of the current growing tensions along the Ukrainian border, Cosgrove chose to speak about Malaysian Airlines MH17, a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed, including 38 Australians.

Like notables from other countries representing the victims, Cosgrove flew to the Ukraine and witnessed the horror of the plane crash. The first emotion was justice and retribution, but during a ceremony that saw the repatriation of bodies being flown to their home countries, Cosgrove noted the behaviour of the King and Queen of the Netherlands.

Amidst cries of anguish from onlookers as casket after casket was boarded on transportation planes, the King and Queen of the Netherlands turned and bowed to the large emotional crowd that had gathered. At that moment, the crowd turned from misery to applause, and it was then that Cosgrove learned that the role of the Governor-General is not vengeance, but rather it is to console.

Upon returning to Australia, Cosgrove participated in the memorial service for the Australians killed on MH17 at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne. Singer Katie Noonan sang “I am Australian” at the service, and a slight substitution of words was made: “You are not alone, we are with you, we are Australian.”

This was what it means to be Australian, Cosgrove said, reaching out and consoling your mates when disaster strikes.

Cosgrove was only scheduled to speak for 20 minutes, but the appreciative audience was delighted to hear from him for an hour and forty minutes. Michael McCormack, MP, thanked Cosgrove on behalf of participants, and Cosgrove was delighted to receive a thank you gift donated by Poppa’s Fudge Factory.

Men’s Breakfast organiser, Rob Nash, advises that he is hoping that the next Breakfast, tentatively pencilled in for the 5th of December 2022 will star Ian McNamara of ‘Australia All Over’.

KP Carmody

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