"Anzac biscuits mean Anzac Day to me," said Parkes woman Julie Freeman who was among the special guests invited to attend this year's Parkes RSL Sub-Branch's Anzac Day luncheon.
Held upstairs of the Parkes Services Club on Sunday, the announcement of the winners of the sub-branch's inaugural Anzac Biscuit Baking Competition took place during the gathering.
And Julie is the winner of the senior category, taking home the Keith Woodlands trophy, generously donated by the sub-branch president, and $200 prize money.
Joan Carolan was named winner of the junior section with Ella Jablonskis runner-up and Quinn Kriedemann was awarded an encouragement.
The competition is part of a larger contest through RSL NSW, that features a district and state level, in the adults category only.
Julie has now qualified for the next round.
Baking Anzac biscuits is certainly nothing new for Julie, who has grown up baking the sweet treat and was a Champion in the Anzac Biscuit Competition at the Parkes Show.
"I've been baking Anzac biscuits since childhood, now I pass this onto my grandchildren," she said proudly.
"I'm cooking my mum Nola's recipe."
Julie only decided to enter the competition the night before entries closed.
"The entries closed on dad's (Ken Gosper) birthday on April 17 and my late husband Tom's birthday was April 21 - they both loved their crunchy Anzac biscuits," she said.
"Dad was an ex-serviceman in the Australian Army."
The competition's judges Parkes CWA representative Ann Olson, and Bev Hawken and Nerissa Westgarte who have experience in show judging, all praised the quality of the entries.
The Anzac Day luncheon is always a great event that finishes off the day's formalities in Parkes.
Among other special guests who attended the lunch were the town's guest speaker Air Vice Marshall Leigh Gordon and his wife Adele, Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM and Member for Orange Phil Donato, who was thrilled to see such a big turnout on Anzac Day in Parkes.
"I think that really sends out a strong message and long may it continue," he said.
As a special way to recognise and celebrate the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force at the luncheon, the sub-branch arranged to have place mats printed, featuring five of Parkes' most outstanding air force servicemen and a brief biography.
The men featured were Pilot Officer Rawdon Hume Middleton VC who was killed in action on February 1, 1943; Flying Officer Colin Francis Hendry DFC who joined the RAAF in 1943 and served three years; Air Marshall Leslie Bruce Fisher AD who joined in 1960-1998; Air Vice Marshall Leigh Gordon AO CSM who joined in 1982-2021; and Air Vice Marshall Stephen Osborne AO CSC, who joined in 1982 and is still serving.
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