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.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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