Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Our ANZAC Day goes viral

Recent stories

Around 1000 people gathered at first light for Naracoorte’s Anzac Day Dawn Service where a special haka performance enthused the crowd.

The performance has since gone viral via various traditional and social media platforms.

Just five days prior to Anzac Day, Deejay Stone issued a call to the district’s Maori community to help “pay our respects to our fallen soldiers and Maori warriors in the way that only we can”.

Mr Stone suggested if there were enough people “I will contact someone at the council to give us a time slot if possible”.

Around 30 men, women and children turned out for the emotional performance which followed the New Zealand National Anthem.

The New Zealand anthem also stirred emotions at Lucindale.

Other special features of Naracoorte’s Dawn Service included the bagpipes played by Ed Coventry for those arriving prior to the service and various prayers by Pastor Shaun Manning.

An interesting commemorative address was a special feature by Naracoorte’s own Major Kristy Biggins who currently serves in the Australian Army.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin then delivered a thought-provoking talk about Gallipoli and being Australian.

There were more prayers from the Naracoorte High School and Pastor Manning prior to the wreath laying ceremony by a raft of community groups and families.

A rendition of the Last Post was followed by two minutes silence then the raising of the flag.

Several primary school students read prayers for peace, those who have suffered because of war, those who serve now and for Remembrance.

Following the haka and Australia’s anthem, Ed Coventry wound up the service with the Lone Piper’s Lament.

This year deputy mayor Monique Crossling was the Master of Ceremonies for the service which went for an hour and a half before the march.

The much-loved Naracoorte Highland Pipe Band stirred emotions again for the traditional march around the Town Square, led by our own Mr Leishman who wore five important medals.

A large crowd then enjoyed breakfast and refreshments at the Naracoorte Hotel.

The 3rd Light Horse Regiment – Naracoorte Troop performed at Millicent this year, while history of the original 3rd Light Horse Regimental Sergeant-Major Roderick McFarlane featured at Lucindale.

Lucindale grazier, horseman and RSL member Robert Copping was intrigued by Captain McFarlane’s photo hanging in the RSL Hall and researched his life story.

Mr Copping shared that story with 200 people who attended the 45-minute service – surviving the war, Captain McFarlane was the first person in South Australia to enlist for the first World War.

Naracoorte Lucindale Mayor Patrick Ross was the first presiding council leader in a quarter of a century to attend the entire RSL Lucindale Anzac Day Dawn Service, and laid a colourful wreath on behalf of the council.

RSL vice-president Guy Redway led the 45-minute service which featured a poem by Viv Hocking, and thanked Mayor Ross for attending.

Throughout the service inspiring tributes and prayers were performed by Lucindale Bible Chapel leader, Phillip Gulley.

With an exceptional singing voice and a wife from New Zealand, Mr Gulley also sang the New Zealand National Anthem and led the singing for the Australian National Anthem, with the crowd joining in.

Many locals laid wreaths on behalf of a variety of local community groups and clubs, including the Balharry Memorial Kindergarten, Lucindale Area School and local suicide prevention and Ambulance groups.

Community members then lined up to lay twigs of rosemary on the memorial in memory of much loved relatives, friends and neighbours who had served during any war.

Following the conclusion of the service, the usual Lucindale RSL hospitality was enjoyed by those who could stay for eggs and bacon.

Mayor Ross paid tribute to his council for organising the “very successful” Naracoorte event, and praised Deejay Stone and the Māori community for their contribution and haka.

Also commending the Lucindale RSL for the large crowd attending its service, Mayor Ross said he was “very pleased” to have accepted the invitation to attend and represent the council.

Naracoorte Community News 3 May 2023

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.


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