At the Air­lie march

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege and Can­non­vale State School.

Wreaths were laid by nu­mer­ous school stu­dents and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, as well as by coun­cil­lors Jan Clif­ford and Ron Pet­ter­son, Mem­ber for Whit­sun­day Jason Costi­gan, and guest speaker Ma­jor Wil­liam Nor­ton (re­tired).

Re­tired warrant of­fi­cer and Air­lie Beach/ Whit­sun­day RSL vice-pres­i­dent Bill Rose said he was im­pressed with the Anzac spirit em­braced by the Whit­sun­day com­mu­nity.

“It’s get­ting to be so mas­sive. When we are out here look­ing out at the wa­ter and the wreaths, this is a beau­ti­ful sight,” he said.

“The crowds are grow­ing beau­ti­fully, es­pe­cially with the chil­dren.”

Mr Rose said wak­ing up early in the morn­ing to at­tend the dawn ser­vice was al­ways spe­cial, with the at­mos­phere cap­tur­ing the emo­tion of Anzac Day.

“It’s more solemn and re­spect­ful,” he said.

Ma­jor Will Nor­ton said the sig­nif­i­cance of the Anzac story 102 years on con­tin­ued to shine through in the Whit­sun­days and Aus­tralia more broadly.

“Anzac Day is not a cel­e­bra­tion of vic­tory, or of defeat, or of war it­self,” he said. “For Aus­tralia, what made April 25 and Gal­lipoli dif­fer­ent from pre­vi­ous mil­i­tary en­deav­ours such as the Maori Wars, Su­dan and the Boer War was that it was the first ma­jor war we fought as a na­tion.”

Ma­jor Nor­ton added that while the con­flicts of the First and Sec­ond World Wars were sig­nif­i­cant times in his­tory, it was im­por­tant to remember the Aus­tralians in­volved in other mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in more re­cent times.

“(On Anzac Day) we re­mind our­selves that Aus­tralians have been in­volved al­most con­tin­u­ously in mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions and peace­keep­ing since World War II,” he said.

“Con­flicts and op­er­a­tions in places like Korea, Malaya, Bor­neo, Viet­nam, So­ma­lia, East Ti­mor, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria should rightly res­onate with us on this day of re­mem­brance.”

The Anzac march be­gan at 8.45am from the Broad­wa­ter Av­enue carpark and ex­tended through Air­lie Beach Main Street, con­clud­ing along the Air­lie Beach fore­shore for the ser­vice.

Anzac tra­di­tions con­tin­ued through­out the day, with two-up played at the Reef Gate­way Ho­tel from 1.30pm and Acca Dacca rock­ing it out for the crowd from 4pm.

De­spite dif­fi­cul­ties faced from Cy­clone Deb­bie, record at­ten­dance was recorded at the dawn ser­vice, with be­tween 3000–3500 peo­ple es­ti­mated to have paid their re­spects at Can­non­vale Beach.

PHOTO: SHARON SMALLWOOD

RECORD GATHER­ING: A Navy Cadet at­tends the Can­non­vale Anzac Day Dawn Ser­vice.

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