Anzac spirit lives
Monday, 28th April, 2014
By Nick Gibbs
A chilly morning made way for ideal weather as Broken Hill commemorated Anzac Day with services across the city on Friday.
The first event began pre-dawn when marchers assembled in front of the local RSL before making their way down Argent Street to the War Memorial.
Despite the temperatures, the service was very well attended and set the trend for the day as the community gathered in numbers to pay respect.
Speaking to the BDT at the Garden of Remembrance Service, RSL BH sub branch President Chris Bowden was very pleased with the levels of attendance so far.
“We had a good turnout at the Dawn Service,” he said.
Mr Bowden felt the participation set a good precedent as the 100-year commemorations of the outbreak of WWI and landing at Gallipoli drew closer.
Salvation Army Padre Ross Mawby agreed the next five years would be particularly important as battles and milestones throughout WWI reach their 100th anniversary.
They were joined by Capt. Mick Sander of the Australian Navy who was in the city especially to honour Anzac Day.
“It’s great to be in Broken Hill,” he said, explaining he had been speaking with Mr Bowden in the months prior to set up the visit.
A small and solemn crowd made their way from the cemetery to the Tobruk Memorial to remember the effort and sacrifice of soldiers during the WWII battle.
“We are now losing our WWII veterans as we did in the 90s lose most of our WWI veterans, so we must talk to them before they too take their history with them,” RSL Assistant Treasurer John Carney said, addressing the audience.
The traditional 11am Memorial Service drew the largest numbers of the day and onlookers lined Argent Street to applaud successive marching troops before the ceremony.
Salvation Army Major Brenda Stace addressed the crowd which spilled onto the road and across the street.
“We can rejoice today that they did that for us,” she said, speaking of the sacrifices of the fallen soldiers.
“Today we live in democratic freedom.”
Broken Hill High School captains Shae Nevill and Robert Warhurst both delivered speeches fitting of the day’s message.
“Today we gratefully recognise their remarkable fellowship and courage,” Shae said of the Anzacs.
“The qualities of bravery, compassion, loyalty, mateship, endurance and self-sacrifice are what our soldiers showed us while fighting for our country,” followed Robert.
Community groups adorned the memorial with wreaths and flowers before Peter Keenan provided a live bugle performance as he had done at services throughout the day.
Mr Bowden brought a close to the official proceedings of the day before members of the crowd came forward individually and paid homage to a proud Anzac legacy.