Big crowds have braved wet and windy conditions to pay their respects this ANZAC Day across the Moreton Bay Region. Here’s our rolling coverage of services
Hundreds of people braved constant rain to pay their respects to the ANZACS before dawn at Burpengary Community War Memorial today.
Huddled under umbrellas for most of the service, it was a demonstration of their passion and commitment to the annual ceremony.
Dozens of wreaths were laid by local dignitaries, politicians, services, schools and individuals during the service which began at 4.45am.
There followed breakfast at Burpengary Jets Football Club. The parade and main services is at 9.30am.
Massive crowds, reminiscent of pre-COVID times, lined the Redcliffe foreshore, beach and jetty for this morning’s Dawn Service which had a naval theme.
In his address, Redcliffe RSL President Neville Cullen detailed the history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), dating back to 1911, and its role at Gallipoli.
The RAN’s AE2 submarine was the first allied vessel to penetrate the Turkish defence of the Dardanelles, “running amok” for five days.
It was subsequently scuttled by a torpedo and its crew were prisoners of war for the remainder of the war.
He also mentioned the mysterious disappearance of the AE1 submarine in 1915, and explained the RAN’s “active service in every ocean in the world, during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan”, as well as in other conflicts and peacekeeping activities.
Mr Cullen spoke about the formation in 1941 Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) and the Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service (RANNS), which continued until 1984 when women were incorporated into the RAN.
He said it was gratifying and heartening to see so many people at this morning’s service despite cold, blustery conditions and light showers.
Renowned poet and “Redcliffe boy” Rupert McCall recited The 19th Day of February, a poem he penned to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.
It was moving tribute to an event in our history not as well-known as Gallipoli and Pearl Harbour, which he said was a chapter of war “which landed on our doorstep” and was something we needed to remember and teach our children about.
More than 250 died on February 19, 1942, when Japan attacked Darwin.
Redcliffe State High School student Benjamin Jay was the bugler for today’s service and Navy cadets were onboard Redcliffe Coast Guard’s vessel, named Redcliffe RSL, to place a wreath in the water just offshore.
More than a thousand people gathered at the Deception Bay Community Hall before dawn this morning to pay their respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, the crowd silently watched as a number of returned service men and women, their families and school children placed wreaths at the War Memorial in Ewart St in honour of those who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions.
Deception Bay RSL Sub-Branch President Stephen Hilton said he was pleased to see to the large crowd, especially after two years of cancelled services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before the march began, there didn’t seem to be a lot of people here and I thought the rain had scared them off but when the march began there were people everywhere,” Mr Hilton said.
“We had more people here than we banked on. We put out 500 chairs and nearly all of them were filled. There might have only been a few that weren’t.
“There were also plenty of people standing up and watching on.”
The guest speaker at this morning’s service was Lieutenant Colonel Scott Revell, who reflected on the ANZACS who stormed the beaches of Gallipoli on this day 107 years ago.
“Anzac Day originated on the 25th of April, 1915, when Australian and New Zealand troops stormed the pre-dawn beaches at Gallipoli. The subsequent battle took a terrible toll with nearly 36,000 Anzacs killed or wounded, many of them teenagers,” Lt Col Revell says.
“Despite overwhelming odds, they held their ground through courage, perseverance, determination, self-reliance, mateship and above all, resilience.
“These characteristics didn’t just suddenly appear in Gallipoli - they are part of the Australian character forged by hard work on the land and a need to rely on each other in hard times.
“When we commemorate those that died at Gallipoli, and all subsequent conflicts in which ANZACs have fought, we do not celebrate the terrible scourge that is war.
“We remember the ANZAC characteristics, including that of resilience, which has been proven time and time again by the service forebears in all conflicts and operations.
“We must reflect on their resilience and service so we can enjoy the liberties, rights and freedoms we experience today.”
Streaming showers paused just long enough for the community to pay their respects at the Pine Rivers RSL Bub-ranch Anzac Day Dawn Service at Kallangur this morning.
Record numbers attended the 5.30am service at the Norths Leagues and Services Club Memorial Gardens, including Airforce, Army and Navy cadets.
A number of local dignitaries paid their respects, among them Murrumba MP and Deputy Premier Steven Miles, Moreton Bay Regional Council Deputy Mayor Jodie Shipway, local Councillor Yvonne Barlow (Div 7) and former Deputy Mayor Denise Simms, who retired from Council last year.
Record numbers attended Samford’s ANZAC Day service this morning, with the heavens opening just as proceedings began.
Returned service men and women led the march along the Samford Avenue of Honour to the memorial from 7.45am.
Among those who joined the march were children from the Samford Golden Valley Pony Club, Bracken Ridge Cub Scouts, Samford Scouts, Samford State School and St Andrews School, players from the Samford Stingrays, the Southern Cross Tennis Club and the Samford Rangers Soccer Club and members of the Rural Fire Service.
Members of the 2 Combat Engineer Squadron at Enoggera Barracks formed the Catafalque Party, with Reverend Matthew Cave leading the service, and attendees huddling under umbrellas for most of the event.
Mark Orreal from the Samford RSL delivered the welcome and introduction, while Major Benjamin Turner from 2 Combat engineer Squadron gave the Anzac Day Address and Olivia Shea from Samford State School read the stirring poem Not a Hero by Clyde Hamilton.
After community groups and local dignitaries laid the wreaths, Kath Evans from the Samford RSL delivered a moving account of John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.
Cadets from the TS Koopa Australian Navy led the ANZAC Day parade from Second Avenue to the Remembrance Memorial at Beachmere this morning.
Veterans, students from Beachmere State School and Birali Steiner School, and residents joined the procession held in sunlight created by a break in clouds.
The cadets formed the catafalque party and the formalities included the story of Ordinary Seaman Edward 'Teddy' Sheean, the first member of the Navy to receive the Victoria Cross for his bravery on HMAS Armidale in 1942, returning to his gun and firing on enemy aircraft as the ship went down.
The Toorbul community turned out in numbers to pay tribute on ANZAC Day with a morning parade and service.
Led by a piper, the parade came down First Ave to the Rural Fire Brigade headquarters and memorial.
During the service, thanks were given to those who fought in key battles during the past century, such as Tobruk and Long Tan, as well as recent campaigns.
The rain may have been heavy during this morning’s ANZAC Day mid-morning march and service at Redcliffe, but it did not dampen Douglas Gomersall’s spirit.
The 101-year-old veteran was all smiles as he participated in this morning’s march down Redcliffe Parade with his son Darryl.
“I had a very big shock this morning. My son told me I was going to be in the march,” Douglas says.
“I didn’t expect that to happen. And I didn’t expect to see the wheelchair.
“In the early days I used to march all the time, but I’ve had a few falls.”
When it comes to ANZAC Day, Douglas says it is a day for him to reflect on the mates he made during the war.
He served at Bougainville from late 1944 and was part of 56 Transport Platoon but was detached to other transport units and, for a brief time, to the 42nd Infantry Battalion. He transferred to the Australian Imperial Force in March, 1945.
Douglas was impressed with the huge turnout, which was reminiscent of pre-COVID times.
Thousands of families from across the peninsula braved the chilly winds and the heavy rain to say thanks to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so all residents of Australia can enjoy the freedoms they have today.
As the procession made its way to Anzac Place, children lined the road happily waving their Australian flags while their parents clapped.
It was during the speeches when the heavy rain settled in. The large crowd huddled under their umbrellas but were not tempted to leave the service.
More than 20 wreaths were laid at the memorial at Anzac Place from former serving Defence Force personnel and their families, RSL members, dignitaries and children from local schools.
ANZAC Day returned to Caboolture today with big crowds, a huge parade … and passionate message.
The Dawn and Main Services were held in rain and cold, but that did not deter dignitaries and residents of our region turning out in force.
Hundreds lined both sides of King St to support and applaud those in the parade, back after three years, and hundreds of metres long.
Many schools (state, high and special) marched as well as a kindergarten, behind such as army cadets and SES before taking part in the Main Service.
Caboolture Sub-Branch President Bruce Miller said, in his welcome, it was so “important“ ANZAC Day ceremonies remained a fixture on the calendar.
“These services can slip from the mind when we don’t have people in combat, fighting for the name of our country,” he said.
“But it is important these services continue. It is important to us the RSL continues looking after those veterans who need help.
“I thank you all for attending today. It gives me a real boost seeing the numbers we’ve got …. and the numbers that marched today were fantastic!
“Please, please don’t let this ANZAC Day tradition die.”
Hundreds of people braved constant downpours to take part in Dayboro’s ANZAC Day march and main service.
The march travelled from the Crown Hotel to the Dayboro War Memorial Showgrounds, with Dayboro State School and Mount Samson State School students joining the parade alongside veterans and their families.
Padre Dan Nugent shared the wisdom of Pericles from more than two thousand years ago, written well before the first ANZAC Day, but only a short distance from Gallipoli:
“Each has won a glorious grave - not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes.
“Monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land, but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass, but on the living hearts of humanity.
“Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”
Defence Minister and Dickson MP Peter Dutton was the guest speaker at the service, saying it was wonderful to see so many children attending to pay their respects.
“We honour and respect the service of those men and women, who over generations, have kept us safe,” he said.