Rod Johnson and Daniel Hatton with his son Micah Hatton, lay a wreath at the cenotaph in Proserpine on Anzac Day.
Rod Johnson and Daniel Hatton with his son Micah Hatton, lay a wreath at the cenotaph in Proserpine on Anzac Day. Shannen McDonald

Remembering the fallen

WHEN people awoke yesterday morning to attend dawn services around the country, they did so knowing they were safe.

About 100 Proserpine locals gathered around the cenotaph in the pre-dawn darkness to remember and honour those who served to keep us safe.

Proserpine RSL Club president Jason Raiteri said in his address Anzac Day was not a glorification of war, but a national day to remember a shared experience and to remember the fallen in all conflicts.

At the time of Mr Raiteri's speech 104 years ago, troops would have been landing at Anzac Cove, unaware of their impending doom.

 

Proserpine State High School students Max Nosworthy, Jacquelyn Watts and Ethan Saward took part in the Anzac Day march.
Proserpine State High School students Max Nosworthy, Jacquelyn Watts and Ethan Saward took part in the Anzac Day march. Shannen McDonald

Ex-serviceman Don Schuring said Anzac Day meant "everything" to him, as his father was a prisoner of war.

He said when he was a boy at school, he made a promise to himself that, as soon he finished his studies, he would join the army.

"And so I did," he said.

 

St Catherine's  students Nikkia Goodall and Sarah O'Riley laid a wreath at the cenotaph in Proserpine .
St Catherine's students Nikkia Goodall and Sarah O'Riley laid a wreath at the cenotaph in Proserpine . Shannen McDonald

Following the Proserpine dawn service, people gathered at the RSL, for beers and rum and milk.

The Proserpine RSL Club has undergone a makeover which was finished in time for Anzac Day.

Member John Hammond said the works had taken 12 months, and he and Brian 'Weary' Dunlop had been working around the clock to ensure it was finished in time.

Bunnings donated materials, as well as time and Mr Hammond said about 10 Bunnings employees had come out to help paint the clubrooms.

 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services members in the Proserpine Anzac Day march.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services members in the Proserpine Anzac Day march. Shannen McDonald

Ian Lade, who served in Vietnam from 1969-1970 said Anzac Day was a part of Australia's history.

"The Gallipoli campaign was the start of our nation as we know it today," he said.

Later in the morning, an Anzac Day march was held in Proserpine, followed by an official tribute to past and present servicemen and women.

 

Vintage cars at the pointy end of the Anzac Day march in Proserpine yesterday.
Vintage cars at the pointy end of the Anzac Day march in Proserpine yesterday. Shannen McDonald

Main St was lined with family members and friends of the veterans, school students and Proserpine Citizens Band, who marched from the RSL to the cenotaph.

Mick Patullo played the bagpipes for the 50th year at both the Proserpine dawn service and march.

He started playing with the Proserpine Whitsunday Pipe Band as a high school student but has spent most of that time playing solo at services in Proserpine.

 

Mick Patullo played the bagpipes for the 50th consecutive year at Anzac Day services in Proserpine.
Mick Patullo played the bagpipes for the 50th consecutive year at Anzac Day services in Proserpine. Shannen McDonald

Mr Patullo said playing the pipes was a way for him to honour the day.

"This is my chance to give back to the community. It's my way of playing tribute to all those soldiers who gave their lives, and it's my way of saying thank you," he said.


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