Early ris­ers catch the dawn ser­vice

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr and Ali­cia Per­era

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.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Pic­tures: Chevron Aus­tralia, Tom Zaun­mayr and Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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