Locals go silent to honour ANZACS

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Paul Kelly (4 RAR): It's just Australian. It's just in us, mate. Brian Skipworth (2RAR): It's about paying respects to the people who have done their bit. Roman Potiuch (2RAR): In '67 we lost quite a few mates in only four and a half months. Once you come home from that, you just honour them because it's all you can do to uphold their memory. *Mr Kelly, Mr Skipworth and Mr Potiuch are all Vietnam War veterans who served in the infantry.
Camera IconPaul Kelly (4 RAR): It's just Australian. It's just in us, mate. Brian Skipworth (2RAR): It's about paying respects to the people who have done their bit. Roman Potiuch (2RAR): In '67 we lost quite a few mates in only four and a half months. Once you come home from that, you just honour them because it's all you can do to uphold their memory. *Mr Kelly, Mr Skipworth and Mr Potiuch are all Vietnam War veterans who served in the infantry. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.

The Geraldton Returned Service League officially acknowledged the dead and aged soldiers of the 1915-16 Gallipoli Campaign and all deceased, retired and serving military personnel during today’s Anzac Day dawn service.

A 5.35am march began at the Chapman Road and Durlacher Street intersection, led by returned service personnel and representatives of returned service personnel.

Geraldton RSL sub-branch president Steve Butler said the marchers were welcomed at Birdwood House by an estimated crowd of 5500 people at Birdwood House.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor and Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney both laid wreaths at the monument in front of Birdwood House, along with representatives from Legacy, Geraldton Surf Life Saving Club, the Pilbara Regiment, Girl Guides Geraldton, Geraldton Abrolhos Girl Guides and Order of Australia recipient Roy Mundine.

In a nod to tradition, the Ode of Remembrance was read to the silent crowd and attendees paused for a minute after The Last Post was performed on a bugle.

The Geraldton Guardian attended the Dawn Service and asked people who had braved the chilly morning why it was so important to them to keep the ANZAC spirit alive.

Robert Brown: I think because there are fewer ANZACs left, often if you can't see something you forget about it. So we have to keep doing this so we can keep remembering them. Peter Herdman: It's our heritage. Our fathers and forefathers fought for this country and without them we wouldn't have a country.
Camera IconRobert Brown: I think because there are fewer ANZACs left, often if you can't see something you forget about it. So we have to keep doing this so we can keep remembering them. Peter Herdman: It's our heritage. Our fathers and forefathers fought for this country and without them we wouldn't have a country. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.
Mike Batt: I'm not ex-military, but I come from a military family. My grandfather was in the first world war and Dunkirk. My father was in the Navy and Air Force. It's lovely to see so many young people keeping the spirit alive today.
Camera IconMike Batt: I'm not ex-military, but I come from a military family. My grandfather was in the first world war and Dunkirk. My father was in the Navy and Air Force. It's lovely to see so many young people keeping the spirit alive today. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.
Dean Caple: I've served in the Army for 27 years and I'm currently working as a training sergeant major at the Pilbara Regiment. Ross Peck: I'm a training warrant officer with the F Troop 2 Squadron. Obviously our troops fought for us and there's nothing better than showing respect and carrying the spirit on.
Camera IconDean Caple: I've served in the Army for 27 years and I'm currently working as a training sergeant major at the Pilbara Regiment. Ross Peck: I'm a training warrant officer with the F Troop 2 Squadron. Obviously our troops fought for us and there's nothing better than showing respect and carrying the spirit on. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.
Tony Bressington: It's about keeping alive the memory of people who died so we could all live today. Ken Lawson: Where do I even start? We have to remember their sacrifices.
Camera IconTony Bressington: It's about keeping alive the memory of people who died so we could all live today. Ken Lawson: Where do I even start? We have to remember their sacrifices. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.
Paul Kelly (4 RAR): It's just Australian. It's just in us, mate. Brian Skipworth (2RAR): It's about paying respects to the people who have done their bit. Roman Potiuch (2RAR): In '67 we lost quite a few mates in only four and a half months. Once you come home from that, you just honour them because it's all you can do to uphold their memory. *Mr Kelly, Mr Skipworth and Mr Potiuch are all Vietnam War veterans who served in the infantry.
Camera IconPaul Kelly (4 RAR): It's just Australian. It's just in us, mate. Brian Skipworth (2RAR): It's about paying respects to the people who have done their bit. Roman Potiuch (2RAR): In '67 we lost quite a few mates in only four and a half months. Once you come home from that, you just honour them because it's all you can do to uphold their memory. *Mr Kelly, Mr Skipworth and Mr Potiuch are all Vietnam War veterans who served in the infantry. Credit: Tamra Carr, The Geraldton Guardian.
Dawn Service dignitaries included: Order of Australia recipient Uncle Roy Mundine, Vietnam Veteran Graham Taylor, Officer Commanding 2 Squadron of Pilbara Regiment Major Seralaadan Tharmarajah and 2 Squadron F Troop Training Officer WO2 Ross Peck.
Camera IconDawn Service dignitaries included: Order of Australia recipient Uncle Roy Mundine, Vietnam Veteran Graham Taylor, Officer Commanding 2 Squadron of Pilbara Regiment Major Seralaadan Tharmarajah and 2 Squadron F Troop Training Officer WO2 Ross Peck. Credit: Tamra Carr.

Readers can still attend the main service, which begins at 11:25am at Birdwood House.

The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service provides free and confidential counselling and support for current and former ADF members and their families. They can be reached 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit the VVCS website for more information.

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