HUNDREDS of locals attended Warragul’s ANZAC Day services this year, with attendance at both dawn and morning services pleasing RSL members.
Warragul RSL President Noel Tucker told The Warragul Citizen attendance numbers this year were high and there were few disappointments in this year’s services.
“We’re encouraged by the crowd, the support that we get from them,” Mr Tucker said.
“You only had to look around and we believe there was (sic) probably between four and six hundred, for both the morning and [this] service, so you can’t get it much better than that, it grows.
“The only disappointment was the lack of service and ex-servicemen, they’re falling away, so that was one of the disappointments, but then again the kids are there to carry on the tradition.
“Look around you, there’s just heaps of kids and the support is great so all went well.”
Mr Tucker said dawn services were being organised in a way so as to encourage attendance.
“You’ve got to brave the cold and we try not to make the dawn service very long, but meaningful, and that’s the most important thing,” Mr Tucker said.
Story continues after photographs. All photos by William PJ Kulich.
Pictured: Warragul RSL President Noel Tucker (left) with former Royal Navy member John Kearns.
“You see a lot of the old diggers are here, there’s some of them who won’t be here next year. They’ll be around, but they won’t be here, they’ll be too old and frail.”
The wreath laying ceremony was a particularly strong part of the proceedings, with ex-service personnel, widows, friends, emergency service personnel, scouts and school children laying wreaths while onlookers clapped.
Pictured: wreaths laid at the cenotaph.
“Every time they laid a wreath they got applause, and that’s really not done, but it was done, and the Warragul people [showed] their appreciation for them laying the wreaths, so that was good,” Mr Tucker said.
Scouts carried the Australian and New Zealand flags during the march from the Commercial Hotel to the cenotaph and assisted with the event.
Correction 9.55am 26 April: Guides and Scouts carried the flags.
Pictured: Scouts carry flags during the march.
“We were grateful to the scouts who help us out,” Mr Tucker added.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without their help because they’re the younger blokes and… it’s all done for us, so we’re grateful for them too.”
Pictured: the Warragul Municipal Band marches to the cenotaph.
Guest speakers included local Cambodia veteran Philip Stone, who spoke on the risks of reinterpreting the ANZACs for political purposes, Warragul Regional College student Jacqueline Kleintz, who read the ANZAC Requiem, and former bomber command member Alan Pugh, who read the Lord’s Prayer.
The Warragul Municipal Band played during the march and hymns, and local musician Allan Tatlow performed “A Pittance of Time” by Terry Kelly.
Pictured: Allan Tatlow.
The Warragul North Primary School Choir sang along with the hymns, as well as both the Australian and New Zealand National Anthems.
Attendees were invited to the Warragul RSL after the event, an offer which many took up and which saw the main room of the building packed with locals.
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