DESPITE a lot of worry and indecision over the rainy forecast and whether to move the services inside on Anzac Day, the weather was kind to Raymond Terrace RSL Sub Branch, and aside from a couple of light showers, both services were conducted with minimal impact from the weather.
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In fact, in some ways it added to the atmosphere on the day.
Vic Jones, President Raymond Terrace RSL Sub Branch, told News Of The Area, “I am very appreciative of the support we had from the people of Raymond Terrace and surrounding districts in coming to each of the services.”
“Despite the threatening weather, our attendance numbers were up again for both the Dawn Service and the Main Service.”
“That reflects the growing respect that people have for the service and sacrifices made by veterans from all wars over the past century,” he said.
The contribution that local schools in the area make to the Main Anzac Day service is also very much appreciated and noticed.
Children from seven local schools participated in various elements of the service, ranging from reading prayers or poems, to emceeing a portion of the service, and delivering the ‘Theme of ANZAC Address’.
The ‘Last Post’ ceremony, introduced at last year’s ANZAC Day service, was also conducted again this year at each of the services.
One veteran whose name is etched into the stone of our memorial is selected to be specifically mentioned in the service and a short precis of his service to the country is read out, and a photo of the individual is displayed at the memorial.
Often descendants of the veteran being honoured also attend the service as occurred this ANZAC Day.
Vic Jones said, “We also conducted a ceremonial watering of the Gallipoli Lone Pine, located in ANZAC Park.”
Many people are not aware that this symbolic piece of military history, seeded from an original tree located on the bloody battlefields where the ANZACs fought on the Gallipoli peninsula, is even present in the Park.
Air Force Cadets from 335 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown, assisted in this part of the service.
This year the Raymond Terrace ANZAC Day Main service received the support of three new musical elements:
Ms Kylee Beasley, Deputy Principal at Hunter River High School, did an excellent job of sounding the bugle calls of the Last Post, Reveille, and Rouse, at the appropriate parts of each of the services.
The crowd certainly appreciated hearing these calls played ‘live’ rather than from a CD.
This year a contingent from the Irrawang High School Drum Corps participated in the main ANZAC Day March giving the parade a consistent beat to march along to.
It is hoped that their participation will become a regular feature of the March in future years.
Some 22 members of The Salvation Army Hope Community Choir provided musical support this year by singing songs to entertain the assembled crowd prior to the commencement of the service, and leading the singing of hymns and national anthems during the Main Service.
Two truly moving services, on such an important day.
Photos by Stelbel Photography:
Photos by Stelbel Photography: