Record crowd at dawn service
THE moving sound of bagpipes drifting across Warwick in the pre-dawn darkness heralded the start of memorial services on Anzac Day.
Piper Neil Burley played from the clock tower at the Town Hall while more than a thousand people gathered at the Leslie Park Cenotaph for the Dawn Service.
The Catafalque Party stood motionless as Father Terry Hickling started the service with a short address which compared the similarities between Easter and Anzac Day.
Bugler Brendan Babington played the Last Post from outside the Memorial Gates as the solemn crowd stood silently while they reflected on the moment.
The main address was given by Assumption College student leader Karinne Law, who spoke highly of the Anzac tradition and the men and women responsible for setting the standard which Australia’s young warriors have lived up to in all theatres of war since.
The Spirit of the Anzac was not born on the battlefield, she told those gathered, but was part of every Australian from birth.
She asked if today’s youth would continue to uphold the Anzac spirit as their forefathers had done and judging from the number of children and young people standing and sitting among the crowd, many certainly would.
As the sun started to turn darkness into light and the crowd slowly dissipated, Mayor Ron Bellingham said he was struck by the number of people in attendance.
“I couldn’t see right out the back but there were at least a thousand people inside the park area,” he said.
“It was touching to see so many children in the crowd, especially those sitting right near the front, some even carried in their own small chairs.
“It was a moving ceremony made even more special by the huge attendance.”
The gardens and lawn at the Cenotaph were once again a credit to council staff and Parks and Gardens supervisor John Newley said this was particularly so after the damage done to the facilities by heavy rain and wind during December and January.