Promise kept as pigeons take flight on ‘historic mission’
ANZAC Day is always a special time to pause and reflect for Cliff Gormley.
But this year will hold a new significance as he fulfils a promise made to his wife five years ago.
Cliff's Carmel Josie Peace Mission will see two messenger pigeons released at the Emu Park Anzac Day service, flying a "very historic mission" to Rockhampton.
The pigeons, Lynfield Lass and Bogan Lad, are owned by Cliff and his son Greg, who have had a lifelong passion for pigeon racing and breeding.
"The pigeons (will be) carrying a message from the hearts of all Emu Park and district residents," Cliff wrote in a letter to The Morning Bulletin.
"This message (will) express thanks, compassion and love to all men, women and animals who served so bravely during the war."
Cliff said his wife Carmel came up with the idea of marking the Anzac Centenary in a special way eight years ago.
When she died, he promised to see her vision become reality.
He said Carmel had always enjoyed breeding pigeons and the mission would bring together her love for the animals and her home town.
Cliff said it would be emotional as he remembered his relatives who fought for Australia, Carmel and the many pigeons who also served in the First World War.