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Anzac Day – Lest we forget

Anzac Day at Lawrence.
Image: Lynne Mowbray.

Communities came together at cenotaphs around the Clarence Valley last Tuesday, to commemorate Anzac Day.
In some areas of the valley, fog and mist greeted those attending the dawn services; which eventually gave way, to a beautiful autumn day.
President of the Maclean Services Club Sub-Branch Steve Walton said that he was delighted with the numbers that turned out, at Maclean’s dawn service.
“The crowd size would have to have been on a par with the Centenary year of Anzac in 2015,” said Mr Walton.
“It’s a credit to the community, to come out in such large numbers to commemorate the first Anzacs.
“Just as we began the service, mist passed over head, shrouding the cenotaph in a sepia glow.
“We had a catafalque party from 41st Battalion RNSWR at Grafton join us, which was very impressive and added a particular military flavour to the commemoration.
“The street march at 10.30am saw a mixture of current servicemen and women, veterans, emergency service workers and volunteers and school children.
“Officers and men from the Royal Australian Air Force marched alongside older veterans, who served in Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam.
“Servicemen and women, who have seen deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, were also amongst those who marched.”
The Lower Clarence Community Choir led the hymns during the service and the lament was played by solo pipers at both the dawn and 11am services, by the Maclean and District Services Pipe Band.
There was a noticeable absence at this year’s Anzac Day service of two prominent local identities and strong supporters of Maclean RSL; WWII veterans Vera Montague and Mick O’Reilly, who passed away recently.
Over 100 people attended the Anzac Day luncheon at the Maclean Services Club which was attended by Clarence Valley mayor Jim Simmons and wife Lexie and Clarence Valley councillor Andrew Baker and partner.
Maclean High School student Alia Britten, who was one of the winners of the Maclean RSL sub branch Harry Lang Memorial Essay competition, also attended the luncheon. Alia read her essay on the topic of the ‘Western Front’, which was well received by those in attendance.

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