Reverent Anzac Day ceremony
Yesterday morning’s Anzac Day ceremony at Deniliquin was attended by a large and reverent crowd to commemorate the 107th anniversary of the first Anzacs landing at Gallipoli.
Many in attendance noted how positive it was to see so many young people at the event.
The ceremony was opened by Edward River Council Mayor Peta Betts.
“Today we pay tribute to all current and former members of the Australian Defence Forces, those lost in training on operations, the wounded, injured and ill,” Cr Betts said.
“Today, we reflect on the young men and women of Deniliquin, Blighty, Booroorban, Conargo, Mayrung, Pretty Pine and Wanganella, who never made it home.
“And today, we pay tribute to the more than 50 young people who lost their lives while training at the No 7. Service Flying Training School in Deniliquin.”
"Right now, there are just over 1380 Young Australian Defence personnel deployed serving on operations around the world. We have them in our thoughts and pray for their safe and speedy return.“
Following the salute performed by master of ceremonies Steve Fawns, Deniliquin RSL Sub-Branch president Don Ward addressed the audience.
“Let us take strength in the knowledge and in the hope that our sons and daughters will never forget the example set by their forefathers,” Mr Ward said.
“In our everyday life, let us endeavour to carry on those traditions established in past wars, and conflicts at such tragic cost.
“We think of every man, woman and child who, in these crucial years, died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.
“We nurture too, the obligation of showing gratitude for the peace we enjoy and the responsibility of ensuring that the freedom and liberty so costly won, is not lost by our own indifference. So let us mourn with pride.”
Father Line Abilgos of St Michael’s Catholic Church then read a prayer for the spirits of those who lost their lives while serving.
The Edward River Concert Band and Sing Australia choir collaborated to perform Eternal Father From to Save.
The captains of Deniliquin High School Chloe Way and Cooper Wall respectively read the Prayer for the Queen and the Prayer for the Nation.
Brett Beatty, a former local and serviceman took the stand.
Mr Beatty enlisted with the army in 1992 with the Royal Australian engineers.
He served as a combat engineer until 2019, discharging as a sergeant.
During his service he was deployed on a number of domestic missions, including Operation Resolute, a joint Navy border protection operation.
Mr Beatty’s family moved to Deniliquin when he was aged one, and he completed his schooling here before moving to the NSW south coast.
“On January 25, 1915, the date the Australian and New Zealand Army landed in World War I, these young men and boys from across two nations who sought the opportunity of adventure and world travels in faraway lands, headed off not knowing what was in front of them, not knowing the horrors that would await them, and not knowing the legacy they would leave,” Mr Beatty said in his address.
“We gather here today to remember those that gave rise not only to the birth of the ANZAC name, but to those men and women who have followed in their footsteps and subsequent wars and conflicts and given they're all in honour of this great nation.”
Mr Beatty recognised Deniliquin’s surviving WWII diggers, Russell Eames and Bill Gordon.
“They carry this legacy on and will decide in their own time whether they pass the baton to the next group of veterans, the Malayan, the Korean and Vietnam heroes that will lead the honouring of those before them, the loss of their mates and holding their head high, that they will too stand the test of time as part of the ANZAC tradition.”
Deniliquin RSL sub-Branch secretary John Harris gave the Commemoration of the Fallen before the moment of silence and Reveille were observed, followed by the placing of wreaths.
Finally, the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand were sung before the close of the ceremony on the exit of the parade down Cressy St.