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The turnout for the Nelson Bay ANZAC Day commemorations was strong despite rain for the dawn service.
The Nelson Bay ceremony paid tribute to the centenary of the ending of World War I, where the traditions and spirit of ANZAC Day were born, on the rocky shores of Gallipoli, and on the fields of Flanders.
Nelson Bay RSL Sub-Branch Vice President Tom Lupton in his moving address, paid tribute to all who have served, our nation in times of war on distant shores.
Not only in the great wars of Europe, but in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam, to Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The dawn service was followed by a march through the main street of Nelson Bay and a second service in Apex Park.
Russell Durrant Honorary Secretary of the Nelson Bay RSL Sub-Branch told News Of The Area, “Once again the locals turned out to support us.
“It is very pleasing to see so many people waving, clapping and shouting their support as we march down Stockton St to Apex Park.
“Students from all the local schools participated in the march along with the 1st Anna Bay Scouts and Nelson Bay Girl Guides.
“It was great to see so many children participating.
The Main Service was well supported with many people on the overhead walkway and right up the park towards Laman St.
“RAAF Williamtown supplied the Catafalque Party and 335 SQDN Australian Air Force Cadets acted as Flag Bearers and Flag Orderlies, with Charlotte O’Donnell and Isabella Rawlings from Tomaree Public School reciting the two verses of the ODE,” he said.
The Seaside Singers Community Choir sang both the Australian and New Zealand national Anthems with the New Zealand Anthem sung in both English and Maori.
Councillor Jaimie Abbott who served in Afganistan, said, “ANZAC day is a time to reflect on the hardships of the past and more importantly it’s a chance to remember those who have sacrificed their lives.
“For the past 11 years, I have been a member of the Royal Australian Air Force Reserves.
“I spent 6 months in Afghanistan in 2011, participating in local dawn services each year makes me feel proud of the small contribution I have made and thankful of the sacrifices many others have made,” she said.
Schools, and the community of the Bay, once again came together to show their respect for those who have and do serve our nation, the ANZAC spirit in the Bay is strong.
It is heartening to see that the mateship of those who founded the tradition carried on and recognised, it contributed largely to who we are as Australians and who we have become as a nation.
By Marian SAMPSON