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City honours the fallen

Thursday, 26th April, 2012

'MEMORABLE DAY': Ex-Servicemen are applauded as they march down Argent Street. 'MEMORABLE DAY': Ex-Servicemen are applauded as they march down Argent Street.

Largest attendance seen in years

By Emily Roberts

The 97th anniversary of the Anzac’s landing at Gallipoli was commemorated yesterday with one of the biggest services seen in the city for many years.

A number of special guests attended the service, among them Naval Deputy Chief Trevor Jones who came as a representative of the Australian Navy.

Deputy Chief Jones said he also came  for the service because his father lives here.

“Navy was trying to send a number of representatives to recognise this day and show a presence,” he said

“I chose Broken Hill because of my family connection and you would be surprised how many people from Broken Hill have joined the Navy. There are at least 100 serving that associate themselves with Broken Hill.

“My father’s a local; he has lived here for 21 years and was a National Serviceman.”

Deputy Chief Jones described the local observance of Anzac Day as “great”.

“It is a pretty great commitment. I thought it was really good,” he said.

Deputy Chief Jones’ father, Bob, said he thought there were 500 or more people at the dawn service alone.

President of the RSL, Chris Bowden, said Anzac Day was a landmark in Australian history.

“Every Australian and New Zealander gathers, young children learn of the legend, and people take comfort in the knowledge that the spirit from  the Anzac’s actions live on,” Mr Bowden said.

“Today is the day for remembrance, recognition and reunion.”

Mr Bowden said yesterday’s service was a memorable one.

“I reckon it was the best crowd we’ve ever had,” he said.

“I think the word is spreading around and people are starting to care about the day. There are more and more people attending each year.

“Younger people are coming out because they are learning about it in schools and parents are looking back into the family history.”

Mr Bowden said he was especially impressed at the number of young people attending.

Mayor Wincen Cuy said he felt very proud.

“Broken Hill people have come out in droves to remember this important day. I am extremely proud to say it was well represented,” Mayor Cuy said.

“I am so pleased to see so many children and teenagers here today. I think there were about 500 or 600 people at the dawn service and a few thousand people at the 11am  service.

“It is one day we must keep on the Australian calendar and take it forward in future years.”

Father Brian Ford, who spoke at the service, said the Anzac soldiers “gave their tomorrow for our today”.

He also said it was important to remember the past soldiers and also those who were serving today.

“We remember those in times of war who have faithfully served our country,” Fr Ford said.

Broken Hill High School captains Chelsea Maddern and Jake Doyle spoke at the service.

Chelsea said if it were not for the Anzacs, Australia’s identity would not have been the same.

“This was the first time that the Australian and New Zealand fought together in military action,” she said.

“They had something to prove to the rest of the world and prove it they did.

“Some paid the ultimate sacrifice. We salute their courage and give them thanks. It is an extremely important and special day.”

Jake said the service was important to honour soldiers past and present.

“It is our day to honour the dead and acknowledge those who serve still. It is an observation of human spirit,” he said.

“Anzac Day is a day about who we are now and we should never let go of Anzac Day.”

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