Every year for as long as I can remember our little town has commemorated ANZAC Day with a march and a service,now held in the local park.
As a child I remember my parents being very involved with many aspects of the day.
We would be dropped at the school to assemble with the return service men and march to the Memorial Hall for the service. My father used to call the march and take part in the service. My mother would be in the kitchen with the other RSL ladies Auxiliary members cooking up a storm to feed the large number of returned servicemen after the service. Once they had eaten their fill they would all retire to the hotel for the men to play two up, have a few drinks and one of my mother's friends would play all those great old wartime songs on the piano. I remember these times with great affection.
We always encouraged our children to march in the dawn service with the school or the groups that they were part of when we lived here in town and on the coast and now it's good to see that repeating itself in the next generation.
Yesterday we headed into town and the men, school children and townspeople were assembling outside the Memorial Hall
Everyone had been given a sprig of rosemary to wear, my friend Lyn was busy helping the students to pin theirs.
My brother in law(centre) marches and carries a photo of my Father in law to honour his service and memory.
The march comes along the main street, the council or police always block the roads for the procession and people line the street to applaud them.
Many wreaths are laid at the memorial, firstly by our ex servicemen,
The service concludes after The Last Post is played, a minutes silence is observed , then Reveille is played and the service men headed to the hotel where a meal was to be served and the traditional two up played , a few drinks and lots of catch ups to be had with many memories and stories shared.
Last week I visited the cemetery with my sisters in law when they were visiting and when I approached my Father's grave I noticed a snake curled up on it in the sun and when he spotted us he gracefully slid down a hole where the grave was sunk slightly and disappeared below the ground.
I had hoped that it wouldn't still be there but alas for me it still was.