On the shore of the lake in the still grey of dawn, members of the Lakes Entrance community gathered at the cenotaph to remember and reflect on ANZAC Day.
A strong turnout of veterans, community leaders and residents gathered 12 months after COVID restrictions forced last year’s ceremonies to take place in driveways of homes.
Ongoing restrictions failed to dampen enthusiasm. The respectful and socially distanced crowd was a community snapshot as walking frames and sticks mingled with hoodies and caps, pushers and prams.
President of Lakes RSL, Geoffrey Turner, conducted the traditionally simple service.
He urged his audience to remember those who suffered in the line of duty and to be grateful for sacrifices “visible and invisible” that had been made by soldiers, sailors, pilots and all others who served so that we could continue to live in a free and democratic society.
“It is that all of us, right here at home must remember everything that has been given to us for us, by our defence forces,” Mr Turner said.
“For our mates, the bond is unbreakable, even in death. We will never forget their sacrifice.
“If we remember the sacrifices that have been made for us, then we are reminded why we need to keep striving together to promote and protect those values that we hold dear in this, our country.
“Today we remember the ANZACs.
“There were many of a tender age who fought. Those who returned injured forever changed. We are so humble, we are so grateful. Lest we forget.”
Guest speaker, Petty Officer Martin Tideswell, currently serving on the HMAS Canberra, spoke of Lakes Entrance’s contribution to the nation’s defence over a century, specifically citing the case of the ill-fated Arthur Percival Harbeck who survived Gallipoli only to die another day.
Petty Officer Tideswell also addressed the young, acknowledging their newly developed understanding of suffering and isolation; the result of a COVID-ravaged year.
As the light strengthened and the breeze awakened, wreaths were laid and proceedings drew to an end.
IMAGE: Nick Howlett, Petty Officer Martin Tideswell who gave the official speech, and Tony Webb at the Lakes Entrance ANZAC Day dawn service on Sunday. K111-8463