Anzac Day 2023 in the Moreton Bay Region

Published 6:51am 25 April 2023

Anzac Day 2023 in the Moreton Bay Region
Words by Moreton Daily
By Nick Crockford, Ashleigh Howarth, Kylie Knight and Jodie Powell.
Photos from Beachmere, Redcliffe (Dawn), Caboolture and Burpengary by Dominika Lis

People across the Moreton Bay Region have paused to pay their respects to Diggers past and present, who have sacrificed so much for our freedom, during ANZAC Day services.

Burpengary

Veterans, their families and the community braved wet conditions to take part in the ANZAC Day march and pay their respects at the Main Service at Burpengary this morning.

The march travelled from the Coles carpark to the Burpengary War Memorial at Buchanan Park.

Woodford

Woodford stopped and remembered this morning with two services at Memorial Park.

Hundreds gathered for the 5am Dawn Service, including families with young children and babies, braving two sharp showers.

RSL Sub-Branch President Bob Patterson gave the opening address and The Ode.

Rev Stephen West gave the ANZAC Day reading, prayer and benediction while wreaths were laid by Woodford RSL and community groups.

Wamuran

Rain forced the 5am Wamuran Anzac Day Dawn Service indoors this morning.

Such were the numbers, Wamuran Community Hall was packed and scores stood outside to pay their respects.

More than 20 wreaths were laid mid-service by local dignitaries, veterans organisations, service groups, and schools.

Addresses were given by Captain Joanne Ahern, CSM (Rtd) and Wamuran State School captains, while Hunter de Hayr recited The Ode.

The service was organised by Wamuran Progress Association.

Bray Park

More than 1000 people gathered at Club Pine Rivers before dawn this morning to pay their respects to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom.

The dawn service was an emotional affair as the public joined veterans to remember the fallen and those still serving today in both Australia and overseas.

The guest speaker was Major Lachlan Wallace – 2 Combat Engineer Regiment – Enoggera, who said he was proud to represent the Australian Defence Force on this important day.

Major Wallace said we should always remember the bravery of the men and women who have served their country.

“We meet here today not to glorify war or praise its victors, but to remember those who served our country during times of conflict and crisis, to reflect upon their selflessness and their sacrifice, and do so today on the anniversary of one of the most significant events in our nation’s history,” he said.

“On this day, we remember those young men who went ashore at Gallipoli – those young men who did not just carry a small piece of the ANZAC spirit, but who forged it into being.

“Let us remember that their sacrifice was in the most terrible of human endeavours – war.

“Let us reflect on the magnitude of their commitment to the service of this nation and the ultimate sacrifice that far too many of them made.”

Following his speech, dozens of wreaths were laid at the Club Pine Rivers memorial by RSL representatives, dignitaries, families and local school children, which was followed by the reciting of The Ode in English and Māori.

Some people in the crowd quietly cried during the playing of The Last Post, which was played by Bugler John Lennon.

Following the completion of the service, many of the crowd attended breakfast inside the club.

Redcliffe Dawn Service

Thousands braved the gusty wind and threat of rain to line the foreshore, Redcliffe Pde and the jetty for this morning’s Dawn Service which had a theme of ‘when war came to Australia’.

Redcliffe RSL President Neville Cullen outlined Australia’s war service before and after Federation with a focus on World War II, when danger reached our shores.

He spoke of attacks on Darwin and Broome, and submarine attacks and incursions in our waters. He also detailed the lives lost on the Australian Hospital Ship (AHS) Centaur which was sunk just off Point Lookout (North Stradbroke Island or Minjerribah).

Renowned poet and Redcliffe Dawn Service regular Rupert McCall recited a poem he penned to give school children a greater understanding of ANZAC Day and a sense of their own great worth.

As always, his words captivated and touched the large crowd. Of the Australian solider he said:

“When the night is wild and windy, with the rumble of the storm his courage calls the sunrise and his spirit makes it warm. We will not forget their sacrifice, the strength of their endeavour for the choices we are gifted with … that flame will burn forever,” he said.

“As you go, please, make these words the chorus of your song … You are young and you are worthy. You are brave and you are strong. In the face of any challenge, you can strive to rise above. You deserve this opportunity to live, to learn, to love.”

Before his recital, he encouraged the crowd to visit the Afghanistan War Memorial garden near Suncorp Stadium at Milton.

“It was built by the hands and with the hearts of veterans and their families and it honours the 42. Forty-one young Australians who died fighting for our country in Operation Slipper in Afghanistan and the 42nd Australian who continues to die on home soil,” he said.

“It’s a peaceful, tranquil, special place.”

Redcliffe mid-morning service

Big crowds attended the Redcliffe RSL mid-morning march along Redcliffe Pde and service at Anzac Place.

During his addresses, Reviewing Officer Major General Michael Ryan AM paid tribute to the ANZACs, detailing the landings at Gallipoli, the battle at the Nek and the successful evacuation of troops when retreat was the only option.

“Australian soldiers were not just good soldiers, they were clever soldiers who expected good leadership. To the great fortune of our nation, they still do,” he said.

“(Today) we honour the values invested in the first ANZACs – loyalty, seflessness, courage , mateship and we commemorate the ways which subsequent generations have measured their own achievements against those soldiers who fought in the trenches and gullies of Gallipoli.”

Grace Lutheran College Rothwell Captains Claudia Braid and Daniil Chechurov represented the youth of Redcliffe, highlighting WWII when the war came to Australia and how it continues to ‘come to Australia in unexpected ways today’.

A huge contingent of community leaders and representatives from service organisations and schools placed wreaths at the cenotaph, reflecting the Redcliffe peninsula community and all its generations.

Beachmere

Clear blue skies greeted a huge crowd at Beachmere’s Community Commemorative Service this morning.

Several umbrellas went up, but only to provide shade from the sun at Beachmere Remembrance Memorial.

Following the traditional march, those paying their respects were told how ANZAC Day became one of the “most important days on the Australian calendar” but also how April 25, 1915 - the date of the Gallipoli landings - was a “day of confusion and fear”.

It was a “day of sorrow”, with 2000 Australian soldiers killed or wounded.

Eight months later, when the ANZACs were evacuated, more than 8,700 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders had died.

ANZAC Day began the following year and “now honours all who have worn the Australian uniform” in the services.

More than 30 wreaths were laid at the Beachmere Remembrance memorial and the silence to remember the fallen impeccably observed by all - from young babies to seniors.

Bribie Island

The region’s ANZAC Day commemorations started as usual, well before dawn at Bribie Island.

Hundreds gathered in the dark at Korea Place, in the grounds of Bribie RSL, for the first ANZAC Day service at 4.28am – the time the first landings at Gallipoli.

Rev Pierre van Bloomstein led the Call to Commemoration and Statement of Purpose before the Last post, Ode and wreath laying.

The Main Service, at 9am, began with the island’s traditional march from Apex Park to Bribie RSL and many present squinting into bright sun.

Rev Bloomstein gave a memorable insight to the Recessional poems by Rudyard Kipling telling the huge crowd “there is a continuity of challenges facing each generation”.

Students from Banksia Beach Primary School and Bribie Island State and High Schools presented the three Loyalty Resolutions.

The address was given by guest of honour Major Ash Naughton who said the ANZAC spirit was “alive and well” in Australia.

The service ended with the laying of wreaths, The Ode and national anthems of Australia and New Zealand.