AROUND 700 people attended the morning service in Bega for Anzac Day.
Bega Valley Legacy chairman and member of Bega RSL sub-branch Bruce Crane was the MC for the service.
“There were more people than I could ever imagine,” Mr Crane said.
“It went great.
“There was a big turnout of ex-service personnel.”
Standing still at the Bega war memorial gates were members of the 5th Engineers Regiment catafalque party.
More than 50 wreaths were laid on the memorial gates at the beginning of the service.
“I would like to acknowledge that year after year the Ladies Auxiliary of the Nursing Home work their magic with flowers,” Mr Crane said.
Club Bega’s David Mitchell read the prologue.
“So let us mourn with pride, but let us also remember with equal pride those who served and still live,” Mr Mitchell said.
This was followed by a hymn The Recessional, with music provided by the Bega District Band and singing led by Isobel Dixon who also returned for two other songs, with everyone in the crowd invited to join in.
Mr Crane made note of how the addition of the band was a surprise, and while he did not expect them to appear he was very glad they had come.
The Reverend Ross Gear from St John’s Anglican Church gave the prayer of thanksgiving, returning later to make the commemoration for the fallen.
Councillor Mike Britten represented the Bega Valley Shire Council and gave the prayer for the Queen, and Sgt Brett Beatty of the 5th Engineers Regiment gave the prayer for the nation.
Two pupils from St Patrick’s Primary School, Jesse Kite and Elizabeth Leary, “filled the selection criteria of volunteering in the first place and of having an ancestor who was in the armed forces”, and were chosen to do the commemoration address.
“We feel very privileged to speak about Anzac Day today,” they said.
“It is very close to our hearts as we both had great grandfathers who fought in WW2.
“Our grandfathers fought in the war so that we could live in a free and safe country.”
The two pupils then talked about Alice Ross King, a nurse who served in both WW1 and WW2.
“Lest we forget” they finished in unison.
Afterwards Bega RSL sub-branch president Barry Stoney recited Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen.
Parade commander Warrick Otton then gave the call to attention, and all present in the crowd stood for The Last Post performed by members of the Bega Band, which was accompanied with the lowering of the flags.
Mr Crane thanked Club Bega for hosting breakfast and lunch, the police, the Rural Fire Brigade, Magpie Music for setting up the speakers, the vintage car society for joining the parade, the Bega Band and everyone who came.
“On behalf of the Bega RSL sub-branch, I’d like to thank you all very much.”
The service was followed by a lunch at Club Bega.
Heather Jones and Nola Robertson served in the Australian Army together, and were having lunch at Club Bega after the Anzac service and agreed the day’s proceedings had gone very well.
“I thought it was pretty good, there was a great turnout,” Ms Jones said.
“It’s one of the best Anzac Days we have had,” Ms Robertson said