Early risers catch the dawn service
Pilbara residents set their alarms a little earlier on Monday to attend one of the many dawn services held across the region for Anzac Day. In Karratha, the move to the country club was widely lauded by organisers and attendees.
As a lone bagpiper played across the mudflats of Nickol Bay, thousands of residents gathered to reflect at the Karratha Country Club and throughout the region to commemorate the Anzac legend.
In Exmouth, more than 500 people attended the dawn service, and further up the coast, Onslow’s rising sun memorial presented as a haunting silhouette in the morning sun.
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White said the Anzac spirit was fundamental to our sense of national pride and this was evident from the numbers who gathered to pay their respects at memorial events.
“It is always moving to see the community come together to honour those who have made such huge personal sacrifice,” she said.
Karratha and Districts RSL sub branch president Julie Pope said members of the public had outdone themselves in paying their respects once again.
“I was absolutely stoked with how it went — it was everything I thought it would be and a bit more,” she said.
“If you went out there now you’d probably find someone who has an uncle or a cousin serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“That really brings the (Anzac Day) message home.”
In Roebourne, the only City of Karratha town old enough to have former residents serve in the world wars, several hundred people gathered for a dawn service around the main street cenotaph.
For what is believed to be the first time in Australian history, the Anzac code was read out in three languages: Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi and English.
Roebourne Anzac committee member Fiona White-Hartig said having a separate service in Roebourne mattered because of the area’s war experience.
“Especially Roebourne with being in our 150th year, the oldest town, it’s so important,” she said.
“The only people who fought for Australia from this area all came off the stations and everything from around here.”
Special Air Service Regiment Warrant Officer Class 2 Erik Pavlik flew up from Perth to lead the ceremony, as he did last year.
As usual, mining and resources sites stopped to reflect as well, standing in solidarity among the towering infrastructure which drives our nation today.
A wreath from the Wheatstone Project was laid at the Onslow Anzac Memorial by Chevron OSBL construction engineer and army veteran Dave Wynne. “It is a great honour to attend the Onslow service and lay the wreath on behalf of the project,” he said.
“Apart from the service at the construction village attended by construction personnel, another 220 or so representing the various contractors on site attended the Onslow dawn service and the gunfire breakfast hosted by the town.
“It was a great opportunity to catch up with fellow veterans and meet the locals who do such a great job in organising this very special day.” Freo Group spokesman Graham Te Nahu spoke of the courage and mateship enshrined in the Anzac spirit.
Rio Tinto Tom Price and Marandoo Operations general manager Anna Wiley said it was great to see so many young people take part in the services.
The dawn service at Wheatstone village.
Chevron's Shawn Heiderich, Pilbara Regiment Major Peter Southern and David Wynne from the Wheatstone Project.
The Pilbara Regiment and Roebourne police led the Roebourne Anzac Day ceremony.
The bagpipes were well-received at the dawn service in Karratha.