THE largest crowd yet seen at an Anzac Day dawn service in Bega attended the solemn and fog-shrouded commemoration on Saturday.
Estimates put the numbers of attendees around 600, with the road in front of the Bega War Memorial Gate blocked by hundreds of service men and women, veterans, families and residents all wishing to pay their respects.
The sight and sound of members of the Bemboka Troop 7th Light Horse riding out of the fog on horseback was eerie and particularly moving.
They were followed by a large contingent of service people, veterans and their families in a smaller version of the march to take place later in the day.
Also on official duties were troopers from the 5th Engineer Regiment of Canberra in the catafalque party.
Five combat engineers and one reservist attended the Bega service to perform official duties, while their commanding officers - Major Ovari, Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Hanger and Captain Billingham – were special guests in the crowd.
Bega dawn service emcee John Watkin introduced the “very special” morning marking 100 years since the World War 1 landing of Australian and New Zealander troops at Gallipoli, an event forever etched into the national psyche.
The crowd was led in prayer by Pastor Ross Taylor from the Christian Life Centre before all joining in the singing of the Recessional.
President of the Bega RSL sub-branch Tom Blake then gave a short address.
“The Centenary of Anzac can be summed up by three human values - courage, endurance and sacrifice,” Mr Blake said.
He said marching on Anzac Day was “neither for glory nor for glamour of war” but to bring those three values to the fore.
“World War 1 was the most tragic event in the history of the world at that time,” Mr Blake said.
“Mechanised warfare was a new way of doing things, but the tragedy of it was that it was flesh and blood - of fathers, mothers, sons, brothers and sisters - that would bear the brunt of the modern ways of killing.
“We must commemorate these losses and make sure they are never forgotten by educating our children, to keep the spirit of Anzac alive in every corner of our nation.”
Ray Barling from the Bega District Band was the bugler for renditions of Last Post and Reveille that followed.
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Band of Brothers
THE Lucas clan was out in numbers on Saturday morning to dedicate a wreath to the memory of nine brothers from Brogo who all went off to serve in World War 2.
The story is worth repeating and covered in some detail by former BDN editor Steve Strevens in this piece from 2010. Click here to read it in full