Diggers remembered on ANZAC Day
WHITSUNDAY residents turned out in force for the various ANZAC Day services held across the region on Monday.
This year’s ANZAC Day marked 96 years since Australian troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli in World War I.
It also signified 100 years of service from the Royal Australian Navy and 90 years since the Australian Air Force was formed.
As the first rays of sunlight beamed over the Whitsundays and as the kookaburras laughed in the surrounding gum trees, almost 1000 people attended the dawn service held at the new Cenotaph in Cannonvale.
Many residents also attended a dawn service held in Proserpine.
The dawn services were followed by the traditional ANZAC Day marches and civic parades in Airlie Beach and Proserpine.
This was followed by morning services that were attended by many of the region’s residents and visitors.
On Monday, there was also time for the traditional game of two-up as the calls for ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ echoed through the region’s hotels.
During the ANZAC Day services ex-servicemen and women stood side by side to honour their fellow peers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation’s freedom.
The words of guest speaker Flight Lieutenant Dave McCarron echoed the importance of remembering all battles that Australian troops have fought in and are still fighting in.
"It was at Gallipoli that the legend of the Australian soldier was born," he said.
Lt McCarron said that as the years roll on, it was important that the spirit of the ANZAC and the tales of Australian Defence Force were remembered.
Airlie Beach Whitsunday RSL sub-branch vice president Bill Rose said ANZAC Day in the Whitsundays this year was another day to remember. He said the highlight from this year’s services was the amount of people representing the nation’s next generation who had helped to keep the tradition alive.
"It was great to see the younger guys and all the kids and it makes everything we did seem to be worth while," he said.
"It just makes us feel proud."