Anzac Day a big draw
The 100th anniversary of the first Anzac Day service was an occasion worth turning out for. A huge crowd packed The Square for Monday morning’s Dawn Parade with the catafalque guard provided by members of the Linton Camp based Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles holding lances.
Not only were the stands packed, but the grassed area facing International Boulevard in front of the cenotaph, quickly filled.
A feature of the ceremony was the large Eastern and Central Community Trust provided screen that enabled those in the stands erected for the services, to clearly see the speakers and appreciate the proceedings.
In the lead-up to both the Dawn and 9.15am Civic Service, there were screenings of black and white archival footage taken during and after World War I.
It also screened an interview with Brian de Lautour, who celebrated his 100th birthday on March 26 and was a special guest at the services.
Brian enlisted in 1941 and saw action in Italy during the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944.
Two years ago he returned to Italy for the 70th anniversary commemorations of the battle.
Missing from both services was the traditional bird silencing, child startling volley, and there were apologies that the flyover set down on the Dawn Parade service sheet would not take place. Two Beechcraft Texan 2 aircraft from Ohakea did however perform a flyover at the start of the Civic Service.
During the mid-morning wreath-laying, Brendon Deere’s restored World War II Supermarine Spitfire piloted by Squadron Leader Sean Perrett, flew around The Square as part of a aerial sortie that visited 15 of the wider region’s Anzac services.