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Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 09:46 am ACST

Balikpapan hosts Anzac Day footy for the first time

Asia

The Jakarta Bintangs and their junior team the Bulldogs are trekking to Balikpapan to take on the Borneo Bears in what promises to be a memorable Anzac Day of football and remembrance.

Starting with the solemnity of the Dawn Service and the laying of wreaths, the day will proceed to a 3-team carnival featuring the Bintangs, Bulldogs and Bears.

Borneo, a vast jungle covered island, was the scene of some of Australia’s most successful military operations (Operations Oboe – The battles of Tarakan, Balikpapan, Brunei and North Borneo) in World War Two, and the site of one of our greatest tragedies, The Sandakan Death March of which only 6 Australians survived from an initial group of 2000 Prisoners of War.

The Bintangs tour is dedicated to a family who lost three sons during the war, two on the same day and one two weeks later on the Borneo Sandakan Death March, ' the Dorizzi brothers' from WA. Bintangs have spoken to relatives of the family and they appreciate the gesture of dedicating the tour to their memory.

Operation Oboe was the AIF codename for the 'Operation Oboe Landing in 1945' and the Bintangs assault is being spearheaded through 'Operation Yoboe Landing 2009'.

Australia's Channel 7 are looking to do a piece and are flying a cameraman across so hopefully the Dawn Service and a cameo of the footy will be played on Channel 7 news on Saturday night.

A full report will appear on WFN next week.

On a lighter note, Bintangs legend, Matt Stephens has organized a Bintangs reunion in Melbourne for the weekend and the big game at the 'G'. Alarmingly, more than 20 former Bintangs have stumped up for this event. Monday court reports will be scanned with interest.

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