Hundreds gathered at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial on Mt Clarence yesterday morning, 98 years since the first Australian and New Zealand troops left King George Sound for Gallipoli in 1914.
Picture by Malcolm Heberle
Strands of pink sunlight stretched over the horizon as those present, from young Girl Guides Australia representatives to visiting US consulate delegates, listened to a City of Albany Band bugler deliver The Last Post and promised to never forget the sacrifices of some 60,000 diggers who gave their lives for their nations.
Albany radio personality and master of ceremonies Ken Ewers-Verge began proceedings with a moving speech.
“For Australians and New Zealanders, Anzac Day is our day,” he said.
“It is a day which Australians and New Zealanders can be reminded of the losses felt in those dark days and preserve their memory for future generations.”
Albany Senior High School head girl Beth Wimbush read a poem titled And They March after wreaths had been laid at the base of the memorial.
Albany has a strong link to the annual commemoration, with the first-ever dawn service said to have been held by Padre White in 1930, in Albany.
The service was broadcast onto a large screen beside the memorial so the crowd, which patiently braved the cold from the early hours, could better see proceedings.
“We gather as we always gathered, not to glorify war but to acknowledge who we are and the freedoms we possess,” Mr Ewers-Verge told the crowd.
A live simulcast of the service was also broadcast to another audience gathered at the Albany Entertainment Centre, in the Princess Royal Theatre.
The service concluded about 6am and the day’s commemorations continued with a gunfire breakfast at the AEC forecourt before a 10am march down York Street.
The march, which featured hundreds of military servicemen and women, and local school students, ended at the Anzac Peace Park for a memorial service.