B’nai B’rith remembers Munich

July 31, 2012 by  
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B’nai B’rith Melbourne has commemorated the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympic Games 40 years ago.

Jock Orkin, a member of the Rhodesian team in the 1972 Olympic team, Henry Nissen Australian & Commonwealth & Maccabi Boxing Champion, Leon Nissen Australian & Golden Gloves & Oceania Champion. Henry Nissen and Leon Nissen were lighting a candle in memory of Moshe Weinberg.

This followed the installation of Jock Orkin & Monica Petterson as Yitzhak Rabin Unit’s new presidents. Jack Aghion, the outgoing president of Yitzhak rabin unit introduced the topic in his speech. A video presentation of the 5th/6th September 1972 tragedy was given explaining the sequence of events which followed the hostage taking of the Israeli athletes by the Black September Palestinian Terrorist group.

Jock, who had been in the Olympic Village at the time, representing Rhodesia as a champion weightlifter, spoke to the audience of his experience in sharing a meal with Israeli athletes Yossef Romano, David Berger & others, after they had recognised him from the Maccabiah Games held in Israel the previous year. This was the day before the athletes were taken hostage and killed. The speech made by Jock can be read here

Australian & Israeli champion athletes were then called up at the ceremony one at a time to light a candle whilst the photo of each of the eleven Israeli athletes was projected and their name read out.

Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn spoke of the importance in the Jewish religion of remembering & commemorating our departed and then intoned in his great baritone voice relevant psalms followed by Kadish.

A minute’s silence was then observed by the audience finishing with a strong rendition of Hatikvah & God Save our Queen.

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