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2003 Autumn - March, April & May  
ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Torquay
25 April 2003

Leaving Geelong in the dark on Friday morning, I was surprised to see an unbroken string of red tail lights heading for Torquay. It then dawned on me that I was just one of the many thousands of people who were heading there to remember those who have served in defence of our nation in time of war. It was ANZAC day.

I parked the car and joined the quiet procession of people emerging from the dark on its way to Torquay's Point Danger war memorial. The first ANZAC Day Dawn Service took place here at 6.30am on Sunday, 24 April 1949. Two years later the current war memorial was built and dedicated to the fallen.

A gentle southerly breeze moved through the flag poles as the sky lightened. In the distance the sound of drums and pipes could be heard as the Newtown Pipe Band approached. The many thousands of people present, converged towards the memorial as we were welcomed by Torquay RSL President, Mr Kevin Egan. Flares were lit and the service began.

The ANZAC Day Dawn Service is held to remember those men and women who served our nation in defence of our shores and beyond in time of war, with special focus and thought given to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mr Kevin Egan read the ANZAC Requiem, while 'Thought for this day' was read by Mr James Ferguson. The guest speaker was retired Colonel Geoff Skardon. Jesse Drever and Nicola Blake of Bellbrae Primary School gave 'A Younger Generation's Acknowlegement'.

Last year more than 4,500 people attended the service. This year the number would have exceeded 5,000. To help the police and ambulance with crowd management, the Torquay Lions and Lionesses put in a big effort to handing out programs, directing the crowd and preparing coffee and a sausage sizzle to fill empty stomachs after the service.

Click on the camera to visit the photo gallery>>

by Nicholas Soames

ANZAC Requiem

On this ANZAC day, above all days, we recall those who did not return to receive the welcome and gratitude of their nations:

Those who sleep where they fell;

In the valley and the ridges of Gallipoli;

On the rocky terraced hills of Palestine;

In the lovely cemeteries of France;

In the shimmering haze of the Libyan desert of Bardia, Berna, Tobruk;

Amid the mountain passes and olive groves of Greece and Crete;

The rugged snow capped hills of Syria;

The rich jungle of Malaya, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands;

Amid loving friends in England and our own far north;

And in many an unknown place in almost every land including Vietnam;

We think of those of our women's services and who also gave their lives in our own and foreign lands;

And particularly of those who proved, in so much more than name, the sisters of our fighting men.

We think of them all this day;

We think of them because their lives were broken for a better Australia, and a better world.

Australia's sons and daughters let us rejoice for we are young and free.


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End of a Voyage:
The story of the Inverlochy

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William Buckley:
A Timeline

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Local History:
Now & Then

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our local Grass Trees

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