Anzac Day Memories
Anzac Day 2015
Anzac Day in Emerald in 2015 was a huge success with an estimated crowd between 3-4000 people at the dawn service and a biggest ever crowd joining in the March from town centre to the new Anzac Place.After 18 months in the planning and construction of Anzac Place and Anzac Walk, the people of Emerald came en masse to witness a very moving dawn service with the kookaburras again joining us and also our legendary Puffing Billy with an extra long “toot salute”.
The Ranges Trader Mail noted – Long before the crowd gathered on Saturday morning, a lone figure stood silent at Emerald’s Anzac Place – the Statue of the Unknown Soldier. By the time the service began, shortly after 5.30am, thousands of locals had lined the streets surrounding the RSL and Anzac Place.
The service started with a “bang” as the sounds of Gallipoli shells and gunfire echoed through the streets. It certainly made an impact.”Those sounds were the baptism of fire for not only the young Anzacs, but also the young Turkish defenders – it was their first experience of war, and for so many it was their last”, said Emerald RSL President, and Vietnam veteran, Peter Maloney.The march from town centre followed at 10.30 and saw a huge contingent of locals participate. During the march a local identity in his aircraft joined the proceedings dipping his wings in salute.
Guest speakers included both primary and secondary college students and two current serving servicemen and women – Craig Sculpher and Robyn Bryant. Wreaths were laid by all community groups and poppies were distributed to the general public to lay on the memorial or the 8 Memorial Stands on Anzac Walk.
The day concluded with refreshments at the RSL in the traditional manner.