HUNDREDS of people have paid their respects this morning at Anzac Day Dawn Services from one end of the Derwent Valley to the other. More than 200 assembled at the New Norfolk Cenotaph, with a similar number at Gretna and about 75 at the Fentonbury War Memorial. Services were also held at Maydena and Arthurs Lake.
Misty conditions prevailed as dawn broke across the Valley. At New Norfolk, parade marshal Dale Britten marched about 60 veterans and family members from the RSL Club to the Cenotaph via Tank St. At 10.30am, Mr Britten will take charge of the main parade which will march from Arthur Square and up High St to the Cenotaph.
For the first time in 20 years, the Reverend Celia Hooker was unable to lead the religious component of the service. Taking her replace, the Reverend Stephen Savage explained that Mrs Hooker had contracted COVID-19. “The principal chaplain, Andrew Lewis of the Royal Australian Navy, wrote these words for this day at this hour,” Mr Savage said. “On this day, 107 years ago, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli made immortal the name of Anzac and established an imperishable tradition of selfless service, of devotion to duty and of fighting for all that is best in human relationships. We were gathered here today at this dawn vigil remember with gratitude, the men and women who have given and are still giving in our armed and supporting services, all that is theirs to give in order that the world may be a nobler place in which to live.”
Mr Savage said Anzac Day and Remembrance Day were times for him to think of the values he learned from his father and grandfather, both soldiers, as well as thinking of his son who is a soldier today. “This is the day we gather to spend a few brief minutes, thinking about freedom and what it cost. Some of you may remember fields of combat. Some remember fallen comrades. Some remember the awfulness of war. Some will remember the bliss of ceasefire and the peace that followed,” he said.
Wreaths were laid by representatives of the RSL Club, Derwent Valley Council and New Norfolk District Football Club and the Lions Club of New Norfolk, as well as by individuals including Senator Clair Chandler.
THE FOLLOWING SERVICE WILL BE HELD LATER THIS MORNING:
- New Norfolk: At 10.30am, the Derwent Valley Concert Band will lead veterans and community members marching from Arthur Square up High St to Circle St for the civic service. Anyone wanting to march should assemble at Arthur Square by 10.30am. The civic service at 11am will feature Rodney Bester as master of ceremonies; the St Matthew’s Singers will perform with the concert band; and speeches will be given by Craig Farrell MLC and the Captain Tim Size of the Salvation Army.
- Bushy Park: An 11am community service will be held at the War Memorial Swimming Pool, Gordon River Rd.
- Hamilton: A civic service will be held at the war memorial, Tarleton St, at 11am.
- Bothwell: An 11am civic service will be held in Queen’s Park.