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
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
by Nicholas Soames
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
Amid loving friends in England and our own far
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.