Lynne Mowbray |
The Clarence Valley community once again came out in droves to commemorate ANZAC Day this year.
Brian Bultitude who has been the president of the Grafton RSL Sub-Branch for over 20 years, said that around six weeks ago he and a number of Copmanhurst locals decided to hold the ANZAC Day service in the small village – the first ANZAC Day service since the memorial was officially opened back in 1926.
“Over 100 people attended the 5am dawn service with over 100 attending the 10am service,” Mr Bultitude said.
“Around 20 people marched including veterans and members of the Fire Brigade and SES, as well as children.
“The march was lead by lone piper Dr Alastair McInnes, of Grafton,” he said.
It was a busy day for Ulmarra RSL patron Robert McFarlane who attended the Grafton dawn service, before heading to the 11am service at Ulmarra and the 3pm service at Lower Southgate.
“The crowd attending Grafton’s 6am dawn service was on a par with recent years,” Mr McFarlane said.
“The GDSC Pipe Band led the march of around 50 people to the cenotaph.
“The 41st NSW Battalion regiment formed the catafalque party, during the service, which was well attended,” he said.
“A riderless horse along with lone piper Dennis Darke led the march at Ulmarra’s 11am service,” Mr McFarlane said.
“An estimated 300 people attended the Ulmarra service with the 24th Australian Army Cadets forming the catafalque party. Melissa Davies did a great job as bugler during the service.
Mr McFarlane said that he was joined by President of the Ulmarra Sub-Branch Jeff Lenz for the ANZAC Day service at Lower Southgate at 3pm.
“The small memorial [which has been relocated to Kelsalls Hill from its original location near the river], was the first memorial to be built on the Clarence,” Mr McFarlane said.
“Around 40 people attended the service, with the traditional Billy tea and scones being served at the conclusion of the service,” he said.
The start of the Lawrence dawn service was delayed for around half an hour, due to a few technical hitches.
Around 15 people took part in the march from the Lawrence Hall; watched on by around 170 people that attended.
Lawrence resident John Hoy was MC for the service, which was held at the Memorial Park beside the Clarence River.
The Lawrence Museum was open free of charge throughout the morning for the community to visit the Salute to Servicemen and Servicewomen memorial.