AS THE Tasmanian community came together yesterday to commemorate the centenary of the declaration of World War I, the message from the state’s churches was one of peace.
About 200 people gathered at St David’s Cathedral in Hobart to attend a service marking the start of the Great War.
On August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany and Australia’s prime minister Andrew Fisher pledged the Australian government’s full support.
Lieutenant-Governor Justice Alan Blow joined state MPs, servicemen and women and descendants of World War I soldiers to pay tribute to Tasmanians who served in the war.
Anglican Bishop Chris Jones used his address to deliver a plea to find peace, and quoted the late Governor Peter Underwood’s 2013 Anzac Day speech.
‘‘I think the Anzac Day message is as much about peace as it is about war,’’ Bishop Jones said.
‘‘It’s important that the Tasmanian community can come together to commemorate 1914, but of course what we need to do is quest for peace,’’ he said.
‘‘To have real meaning, let us each leave here and be more resolute on finding peace.’’
A descendant of Private Alec Campbell, the last surviving Anzac, read Wilfred Owen’s poem, Anthem for Doomed Youth.
A Union Jack flag carried by Katherine Mary Roberts at the head of troops on their departure and return during the war featured in the service, along with the caps of nurses and soldiers.
The church bells were rung at 11am as a sign of remembrance for those who died serving their country.