SPIRIT OF ANZAC

Veterans Lawrence Camilleri and Ken Martin at the ANZAC Day service on Monday.

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered at the Broken Hill War Memorial to commemorate ANZAC Day.

Over a 1000 people were reported to be in attendance at the dawn service with a large crowd also showing up to give their support at the 11am ceremony.

Organisers were thrilled with the turnout and felt it was a good day despite minor ‘hiccups.’

Broken Hill RSL President, Des Kennedy, said he was pleased that this year’s services received the support they deserved.

“I think it’s great the people of Broken Hill respected and honoured the day,” he said.

“Thanks also goes to the (Broken Hill City) Council for lighting up the Civic centre for Anzac Day.”

A light show at the Chloride Street centre paid tribute to the day with a colourful display visible at sundown.

A march from the RSL branch to the Cenotaph on Argent Street was scheduled before both services.

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Mr Kennedy delivered the opening address, followed by an invocation by David Shrimpton and a speech from Royal Australia Navy Commander Jennifer Parker.

Broken Hill High School students Madeline Evans and Yusuf Goss also provided a talk during the 11am service.

A minute of silence was observed ahead of wreath-laying and a rendition of the Australian National Anthem (and New Zealand at 11am service).

Broken Hill military veterans attended Monday’s services. Former National Servicemen Lawrence Camilleri and Ken Martin said they were both proud to have participated in the occasion.

“It was a marvellous service and a lot of attendees,” Mr Martin said.

“There are a lot of visitors in town still and it’s good to see them mixing with the locals.

“I’m very proud and I also represent my brother who was (in) World War 2.”

Mr Martin performed National Service in 1957 and then went into CMF (Commonwealth Military Forces) until 1964.

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Mr Camilleri was also delighted to see major support for the local ANZAC Day services.

“It is a special day,” he said. “It’s a good turnout and it’s nice to see the young people here.”

He was a National Serviceman in 1966 for two years and served in the Army Reserves for 21 years until about 1978.

“I’m very proud and I enjoyed my time in the Army and I would do it again,” Mr Camilleri said.

Former CMF and Vietnam veteran Allen Turner said he hopes younger ex-service personnel will be able to carry the local RSL subbranch forward.

“I hope it keeps going for a lot longer but it’s up to the younger veterans to come in, learn what’s going on and takeover,” he said.

He has been a Broken Hill RSL member for the past five decades and was on the committee for the majority of the time.

“I decided it was time to pass the baton on to someone else,” Mr Turner said. “I think I’ve done my share and I’ve enjoyed it.”

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Mr Turner has been a part of the organisation since 1971 and was awarded life membership in 2003.

The Broken Hill RSL will prepare to hold a memorial service on Remembrance Day.

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