Bermagui, Tathra Anzac Day dawn services | Photos

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Bermagui remembers ' supreme sacrifice'

THE Bermagui dawn service for Anzac Day was held at the war memorial overlooking Horseshoe Beach.

It was a cool morning, but with no wind so waves could be heard lapping on the shores of the beach. 

The MC for the service was Bob Shearing, treasurer of the Bermagui sub-branch of the RSL and a Vietnam War veteran who served in radio communications. 

The service began with piper Jessie Hardy playing The Last Post, and the Light Horse fall-in who were under the control of Chris Reid. 

Vice-president of Bermagui RSL John Lazzaro gave the opening prayers. 

“We remember those who went to war and paid the supreme sacrifice,” Mr Lazzaro said.

“We remember those since passed away, and we remember those who live on in our hearts. 

“Let not our gratitude to them fade and grow weary.”

President of the Bermagui RSL sub-branch Neville Staehr gave the dawn service address.

“Ninety-nine years have now passed since the Australian submarine AE 2 penetrated the Dardanelles and entered the Sea of Marma, and Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula,” he said. 

“Those who took part in the ill-fated operation have now gone.

“None remains to speak to us of what occurred on 25 April 1915.

“And yet, those men and that day still linger in our memory, after so many years, and with the world changing so much. 

“Spend a moment to reflect on the personal cost of war and think…If I never went home.

“Then maybe you will catch a glimpse of the enormity of sacrifice, both to those who went and those who waited. 

“And perhaps this new dawn, ushering in Anzac Day 2014 will hold a meaning for you that is beyond words.”

Mr Shearing then read an Anzac verse, A Tribute to Anzac Day. 

He was followed by Merv Huggett who read an original poem he had written just for the occasion.

“On this Anzac Day dawning of yet another new day, our thoughts are with those who with their lives did pay,” he read.

“Ensuring all aggression and wars are fought on some foreign land, but not our shores, our beaches, our sand.” 

Geoff Cameron initiated the laying of the wreaths, and was followed by other members of the public who also placed wreaths and tributes.

Unfortunately the piper experienced an equipment malfunction and was unable to play the lament. 

Mr Staehr then returned to give the ode, as did Mr Lazzaro who gave the prayer of thanksgiving. 

The service then concluded after the Australian National Anthem.

 “It went great, fantastic,” said Mr Shearing. 

“It’s getting bigger and bigger every year, because of the location mainly.

“The lapping of the waves on the beach is just an unreal feeling.

“There are many locals, and also lots of visitors come here for the dawn service.

“Everything is done here by volunteers, the set up, clean up and things like mowing.”

The service was followed by a gunfire breakfast at the Bermagui Country Club.

The main  march will begin at 10.45am before the main service at 11am, followed by a lunch back at the Country Club.

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Tathra's Anzac bloodlines

REX Kermode led the dawn service at Tathra where over 250 people assembled around the town’s small cenotaph, spilling out onto the road, to pay tribute to the fallen. 

The prologue was delivered by vice-president of Bega RSL sub-branch Allen Collins.

Mr Kermode then talked about the “bloodlines” of Anzac soldiers.

Former Tathra and now Candelo resident Mick Atwill, who hasn’t missed a Tathra dawn service for over 20 years, gave the Anzac Day address.

While everything went to plan at the Tathra Memorial, the clouds refused to cooperate and their wasn’t so much “dawn” at the service as weak grey morning light. 

While some of the large crowd dispersed, said by Mr Collins to be one of the largest he had seen, some filtered across the road to Tathra Hall where “Gilly’s billy” had been brewing tea for at least an hour before the dawn to warm the crowd.

“It’s a small ceremony, but a special one,” Mr Kermode said.

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