The Port Macquarie community gathered to remember the Bangka Island massacre and attend National Servicemen's Association of NSW national day on February 14.
The Bangka commemoration was held by Port Macquarie RSL sub-Branch at the Town Green cenotaph, while a National Servicemens' Day event was held at McInherney Park directly afterwards.
The Bangka Island massacre occurred on February 16, 1942 when Japanese soldiers killed 22 Australian Army nurses and some 60 Australian and British soldiers.
"We had a good turnout today and good to see the Mayor (Peta Pinson) and Federal Member (Pat Conaghan MP)," said National Servicemen's Association of NSW, Port Macquarie Hastings sub-branch president Tony Newell.
"Most of those here are Vietnam boys but many of the people in national service didn't go overseas. In the 1950s they were backup and stayed in Australia.
"I don't think there is any problem with compulsory national service in times of war. You answer the call and some men will describe it as the best years of their life.
"We like to consider ourselves as a voluntary force and not a compulsory force. We are primarily a social group now and a place to talk or chat."
Members of the public with or without military experience can join the Port Macquarie RSL Sub-branch Auxiliary on every second Monday of the month at 10.30am at Port Panthers in Port Macquarie.
The Auxiliary holds social events, craft events and raises funds for local families of servicemen and women.
What else is making news, sport?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.
If you value local journalism, continue to support us and consider taking out a subscription. CLICK HERE for a 30-day free trial.