Good turnouts for ser­vices

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Tom Zaun­mayr, Ali­cia Per­era and Tay­lar Amonini

As the sun rose to the east of the Kar­ratha Coun­try Club on An­zac Day and the North West Shelf flame burned as bright as a sec­ond sun­rise behind the crowd, some­thing com­pletely un­ex­pected ap­peared in the west.

A full rain­bow, fram­ing a 2000-strong crowd, burst to life as ev­ery­one stood in si­lence for The Last Post.

School­child­ren, emer­gency ser­vices, clubs and com­pa­nies all lined up to lay wreaths as a lone bag­piper played on the hill above.

A haka and march fol­lowed, with many of the crowd stay­ing behind to give a rous­ing ova­tion to those who have ei­ther served our two coun­tries or were close to some­one who did.

The rain­bow wasn’t the only rare sight in Kar­ratha.

A traf­fic jam stretch­ing back to Pe­lago made for a rare sight on the bot­tom road.

In the his­toric town of Roe­bourne, 300 peo­ple gath­ered on the main street to see res­i­dent Terry Thomp­son re­ceive a framed record of ser­vice of a cousin, Ron­ald Har­ris, who was killed in the Viet­nam War. It was a fit­ting trib­ute for a town steeped in in­dige­nous and mil­i­tary his­tory.

Mr Thomp­son said he was proud to re­ceive the trib­ute to his fam­ily mem­ber.

“Ronny was my men­tor, pro­tec­tor and big brother. He was taken too soon,” he said.

“I’ll put (the record) on the wall and I’ll pass it on to my chil­dren, so they’ll know why I’m so proud of Un­cle Ronny.”

Pil­bara Reg­i­ment ma­jor and cer­e­mony MC Brett Warner called for greater ac­knowl­edge­ment of the ser­vice of Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralians in past wars.

In Port Hed­land, hun­dreds gath­ered in com­mu­nity spirit at the Hed­land War Memo­rial op­po­site the Es­planade Ho­tel to watch the dawn ser­vice and An­zac march.

The ser­vice was fol­low by an in­tro­duc­tion by RSL pres­i­dent Val Mid­dle­ton. “On this day we re­call those who, in the great tragedy of war, gave their lives for Aus­tralia and for the free­dom of mankind, and those who sleep in un­known rest­ing places in many lands and in ev­ery sea.”

RSL mem­bers, de­fence forces, cadet units, mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, po­lice, emer­gency ser­vices, min­ing com­pa­nies, ser­vices, and busi­ness clubs all took part in the lay­ing of wreaths.

Past and present mem­bers of the armed forces and their de­scen­dants proudly par­tic­i­pated in the An­zac Day marches and gun­fire break­fasts in Shire of Ash­bur­ton towns.

Shire pres­i­dent Kerry White said it was touch­ing to see the An­zac spirit and sense of na­tional pride was as strong as ever.

“It is fan­tas­tic to see our com­mu­nity come to­gether to com­mem­o­rate and pay re­spects to both those who have passed and are still ac­tive ser­vice mem­bers,” she said. About 1000 peo­ple at­tended two An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tive ser­vices in Ex­mouth, in­clud­ing 750 at the dawn ser­vice.

Shire of Ex­mouth Com­mis­sioner Ian Fletcher wel­comed those who gath­ered to re­mem­ber the coura­geous men and women who fought.

“Ex­mouth was built around the US Naval Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Sta­tion Harold E Holt, but the North West Cape’s role in mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions be­gan long be­fore,” he said. “Dur­ing World War II, the Ex­mouth Gulf pro­vided har­bour for US ships and sub­marines as part of Op­er­a­tion Pot­shot.

“In 1943, con­struc­tion started at Lear­month airstrip and the heroic men of Z Force left the Ex­mouth Gulf aboard the Krait on Op­er­a­tion Jay­wick.”

Mr Fletcher said grat­i­tude and re­spect for those op­er­a­tions was etched in street names, memo­rial sites and com­mem­o­ra­tions in Ex­mouth.

A rain­bow forms over the dawn ser­vice at the Kar­ratha Coun­try Club. A mem­ber of the catafalque party.

Dawn ser­vice at the Kar­ratha Coun­try Club. Pic­tures: Tom Zaun­mayr, LE’s Pho­tog­ra­phy and Ali­cia Per­era

The Pil­bara Reg­i­ment and Roe­bourne po­lice.

Cap­tain Michael San­der, Merv Stan­ton and Mayor Camilo Blanco.

The An­zac Day march in Tom Price.

Trib­ute is paid at the war memo­rial.

Kar­ratha cadets lay a wreath.

Pil­bara Reg­i­ment per­son­nel.

Terry Thomp­son dis­plays the trib­ute to his late rel­a­tive, former ser­vice­man Ron­ald Har­ris, with Ma­jor Brett Warner

The Tom Price march.

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