Motorists passing through Heathcote stopped to mark Anzac Day at the RSL cenotaph.ZACH HUBBER April 30, 2014 3:10am
District students lay wreaths on Friday. Pictured are (above left) Holy Rosary Primary School students Roxanne and Alexis Jorgensen-Neave; (centre) Heathcote Primary School students Thomas Austin and Hayley Cox and Jackson Marcon and Tia Tobin of Holy Rosary Primary School. Photo: Zach Hubber
Tourists driving both directions of the Northern Hwy were seen pulling over to take part in the Anzac Day service at the Heathcote RSL cenotaph on Friday.
Before the outdoor ceremony, at least 300 people packed into the Heathcote RSL hall to pay their respects during a commemoration ceremony.
RSL president Tony Illarietti welcomed guests to the 10am service, with prayers delivered by Reverend Ian Davey and pastor Timothy Happs.
Students from Heathcote, Holy Rosary and Axedale primary schools delivered speeches reflecting on the Anzac spirit.
Captain Robert O’Donnell from Puckapunyal’s School of Artillery was the guest speaker.
Capt. O’Donnell, who served in Afghanistan during 2012-13, spoke about what it meant to be Australian and how the nation’s character was forged in blood during the battles of World War I.
Outside at the cenotaph, soldiers from Puckapunyal army base formed a catafalque party as members of the community laid wreaths in memory of those who served in war.
Following the Australian and New Zealand national anthems
It was the second service of the day for some residents who had braved the cold for the dawn service.
Mr Illarietti said dawn service numbers were far greater than in previous years, estimating at least 250 people were in attendance.
‘‘I think the word’s getting around town that the RSL does the service for Anzac Day and there’s also more community feeling around at the moment,’’ he said.
The Union Hotel’s gunfire breakfast was again well-attended by RSL members and former servicemen and women wearing their medals.
After the RSL service the hotel was the place to be as a two-up ring was arranged in the car park.
‘‘Hopefully the two-up will be an Anzac tradition for a long time to come,’’ Mr Illarietti said.
‘‘There were a lot of first-timers there who loved it.’’
Mr Illarietti took the reins as ringkeeper and punters tried their luck at making a small profit.
The president said record numbers which attended the day should continue at next year’s 100th anniversary services.
Despite the Maori dancers not appearing this year, Mr Illarietti said they would attend in 2015.
A fire truck has lost two of its back wheels on the Goulburn Valley Highway
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Police Association slams secret roster trial.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
TRUCKtalk magazine all the rage with local truck drivers.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
An unknown sum of money was stolen from Benalla Golf Club this morning after thieves broke into its gaming room.
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