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Anzac Day in the Moreton Bay Region

Posted: 7am 25 Apr 2021

Veterans, their families and the general public have paused this Anzac Day to remember the sacrifices of servicemen and women made in protecting the freedoms we enjoy today. Commemorations are being held across the Moreton Bay Region. Here's our rolling coverage

See our gallery below

Compiled by journalists Jodie Powell, Nick Crockford and Kylie Knight

Bribie Island

Organisers of the Bribie RSL Anzac Day Dawn Service were “overwhelmed by the turn out” this morning.

The RSL car park was packed with local residents, many from the Caboolture area and further afield.

Rev Pierre Van Blommestein said he was “absolutely amazed” by the attendance for the traditional service.

Redcliffe Dawn Service

They turned out in their thousands to commemorate Anzac Day at Redcliffe RSL’s Dawn Service, and as the sun rose, reflected on a time when the war was fought on Australia’s doorstep.

In his address, Redcliffe RSL President Neville Cullen told the large group of veterans, families and the general public how the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour was the start of an intensive campaign in the Pacific.

He spoke of the sustained bombing campaign in Darwin, which killed hundreds and wounded many more, then described raids by Japanese Zero Fighters in Broome, attacks in Townsville and Mosman and midget submarine attacks in Sydney.

Mr Cullen said Australian soldiers, part of the 20th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron (20EOD), were now still safely disposing of unexploded ordnance in parts of the Pacific including Papua New Guinea.

He also acknowledged the 100th anniversary of the RAAF and invited all veterans and servicemen and women to stand and give the RAAF three cheers.

The service, renowned for drawing large crowds, did not disappoint those gathered in the VIP area, on the grass, on the beach, on the Redcliffe Jetty or looking on from apartment balconies above.

In a moving moment, Redcliffe’s own Rupert McCall recited Heroes of Tobruk, a tribute to his grandfather Barney McCall who was a Rat of Tobruk and to his father Kerry, who passed away last week.

It was a difficult reading for McCall, a favourite at the Redcliffe Dawn Service, but a moment he said he was not going to miss.

During his address, Mr Cullen welcomed news of a Royal Commission into veteran suicide and said the Redcliffe RSL Sub Branch would be making a submission.

The Sub Branch will also host a veterans’ forum with Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie and Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth on May 4 from 5.30pm. Veterans interested in being part of the forum are asked to register with the RSL.

Pine Rivers Dawn Service

About 1200 people gathered at Kallangur Memorial Park to pay their respects for the Pine Rivers RSL Sub Branch Dawn Service this morning.

With numbers restricted by COVID-19, the services was also live-streamed by the North Leagues and Services Club through its Facebook page.

Sub Branch president Margaret Lord welcomed those attending, saying it was fitting to recall those who served in war and those who did not return to receive their thanks from a grateful nation.

She paid tribute to servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, prisoners of war, peacekeeping forces and those who served in humanitarian missions.

“Fear not that you have died for naught,” she said.

The Salvation Army’s Major Lyn Cook led the service in prayer, before Major Jess McKinnon spoke of the first Anzac Day on April 25, 1915, when about 2000 Australians were killed or wounded at Gallipoli.

“In December the Anzacs were evacuated,” Major McKinnon told the service.

By then, about 8700 Australians and 2700 New Zealand troops had died.

Pine Rivers RSL Sub Branch’s youngest serving member, Leading Aircraft Woman Emma Nearmy, who was joined at the service by her father and grandparents – also members of the Sub Branch – recounted a moving history of the Royal Australian Airforce’s contribution to conflicts and its role in World War I.

Dickson MP and Defence Minister Peter Dutton, required to isolate due to COVID-19 requirements after a visit to Perth, was unable to attend the service, but offered his apologies, with his wreath laid instead by an electorate representative.

Pine Rivers RSL Sub Branch vice president Joe Carroll laid the first wreath on behalf of branch members, with Murrumba MP Steven Miles, Moreton Bay Region Deputy Mayor Denise Sims, representatives from local schools, the Vietnam Veterans Association and the 11th Light Horse Pine Rivers regiment also taking part in the ceremony.

Mango Hill Commemoration

The Mango Hill Anzac Commemoration used two famous stories to honour the 106th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

In a ceremony of music and reflection on Wednesday, Louise Winton told the story of Simpson and his donkey evacuating wounded soldiers in the first few days of the campaign.

Dave Norman put the spotlight on the Silent Anzac - the AE2 submarine which got through the heavily minded Dardanelles to support the landings.

Trevor Ruthenberg read the Anzac Reflection, Briana Kelly The Ode and Stewart Boston-Dart played the Last Post/Reveille before Louise Winton sang the Australian and New Zealand national anthems.

The commemoration was attended by about 60 people at Mango Hill Community Centre on April 21.

Beachmere Main Service

Crowds lined the streets and packed the memorial for this morning’s Anzac Day Community Commemorative Service at Clayton Park.

In the opening address, the organisers said it was the biggest ever seen.

The service included school children, 123 Army Cadet Unit Caboolture and members of TS Koopa providing the guard.

Padre Ross Konowalenko also unveiled a plaque to ACW Mary Morgan’s RAAF, with relatives standing alongside.

Toorbul Services

The tight-knit Toorbul community turned out in great numbers for its Anzac Day Service this morning.

A 5am dawn service was followed by the main service at 8am, with community and Anzac addresses, wreath laying and one minute's silence in front of the memorial beside Toorbul Rural Fire Brigade.

Caboolture Main Service

Around 450 people paid their respects to the Anzacs this morning at the Caboolture Main Service in the town square on King Street at 10am.

Local schools played a prominent role in the laying of wreaths alongside local dignitaries, emergency services personnel and community service groups.

Students from Morayfield State High School read the resolutions.

The main address spoke of the “selfless acts of others” in conflict and drew on Australian VC recipient Mark Donaldson’s words about how decisions and courses of action changed lives.

Burpengary Main Service

Burpengary's Community Anzac Day Parade and March started with veterans, Australian Defence personnel, ex-service organisations, next of kin marchers, emergency services representatives, community organisation representatives and schools marching from the Coles carpark at 10am. 

They and the rest of congregation gathered at 10.30am at the Burpengary War Memorial in Buchanan Park to remember those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. They also honoured those who have served in recent conflicts.

The main service followed Burpengary's Dawn Service, which was held at 4.45am at the memorial.

Donnybrook Main Service

The Sawyer family played a leading role in the Donnybrook and District Memorial Anzac Day Service this morning. Sisters Matilda, Adelaide and Dorothy were joined by mum Alicia in reading the resolutions during the ceremony.

Matilda and Dorothy were representing the Australian Christian College, Adelaide the Australia Catholic University and Alicia was representing Federal Member for Longman Terry Young.

The catafalque party was formed by 123 Australian Cadet Unit (ACU) Caboolture.

More than a dozen wreaths were laid during the service.

Lighting Up The Dawn

Many families and individuals across the region chose to Light up the Dawn at home - from driveways, balconies and loungerooms. Some have posted photos on the Moreton Daily Facebook page and we've included a selection below.

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