Crowds brave the cool for ANZAC Day services

May 3, 2008

In one of the biggest Dawn Services held for some years, Bingara residents braved the cool and cloudy morning to acknowledge the soldiers of years gone by.

Austin Mack, Rhonda King and Harry Fay.

A small number of WWII ex-servicemen were present at the service, including Mr Ted Baldock, who cut a striking figure, proudly wearing his medals. Mrs Pattie Steiger, who led the hymn and the National Anthem, said that the nostalgia in the atmosphere was very moving. The Last Post, played by Sam Kennedy drifted hauntingly over the quiet morning. About 120 people attended the service and 102 people breakfasted at the Returned Services Club.

A cool and showery morning greeted Anzac Day’s 11 o’clock service. The crowd was undaunted though, many standing in groups under umbrellas and trees. Pipers, Don Mack, Andrew Mack and Tim Tesoriero and drummer Neil Mack, who led the marchers down Maitland Street, provided great flair to the procession. The army jeep carrying ex-serviceman Ian Anderson and driven by owner, Robert Mack also added to the diversity of the march. WWII veterans Harry Fay, Ron Ward, Morris White and Helen Jack marched, while Percy Hartwell and Ted Baldock, who are both in their nineties, were in cars. Vietnam Veterans and National Servicemen were also represented in the march.

The service began with the prologue delivered by Bingara RSL sub-branch President, David Young. Prayers and The Recessional followed, the Reverend Kevin Hansen delivered the Commemoration Address, with the Commemoration of the Fallen preceding the laying of the wreaths. Bugler, Sam Kennedy played The Last Post before The Ode, which was followed by Reveille. Mrs Pattie Steiger then led the gathering in singing Abide With Me, the Royal Hymn and the National Anthem. Throughout the service, the mood was sombre and respectful.

The pipers played as the crowd gradually dispersed after the service, many people lingering to listen to the bagpipes.

The Anzac Day luncheon was well attended with 124 people enjoying the warmth of the Returned Services Club. Mrs Nancy McInnes who was the guest speaker at the lunch, was very well received, her speech eliciting sporadic applause as the crowd supported some of the points she made.

 Compliments of The Bingara Advocate