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Brunswick Junction locals out in force for Anzac Day service despite weather causing cancellation of march

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Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Vietnam veteran Tony Green speaks as members of the Brunswick VFRS stand guard for the catafalque party.
Camera IconVietnam veteran Tony Green speaks as members of the Brunswick VFRS stand guard for the catafalque party. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

Wet weather and the cancellation of the annual march were not enough to stop crowds from turning out in force for Brunswick Junction’s Anzac Day commemorations.

Hundreds packed the Brunswick Town Hall on Tuesday for a slightly different service after wet weather caused a change in plans for event organisers.

The service began with the laying of wreaths, with local families, community groups, emergency services and elected representatives all paying tribute.

Master of ceremonies Judy Talbot said Anzac Day was a time for reflection on the sacrifice made by so many for our nation.

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“On Anzac Day, we acknowledge and commemorate our soldiers without reservation,” she said.

“These are ordinary men and women who have been called upon to do their duty.”

Ms Talbot remarked on the significance on the service, 30 years since the first Anzac Day march was held in Brunswick Junction after a 20-year gap.

“The first year we had 82 and that included children,” she said.

“Oh boy, were we excited we actually had an Anzac service, and just look today: it’s fabulous.”

Vietnam veteran Tony Green read two poems before Harvey shire councillor John Bromham recited In Flanders Fields.

Mr Green was later called up to recite the Ode of Remembrance, followed by the Last Post being sounded by Ethan Nankivell.

Gary Gardiner, a Vietnam veteran, was the guest speaker for the service.

He described the amount of suffering caused by World War I as “frightening”.

“From Australia’s point of view, of a population of only 5 million, we paid a cruel price; 416,809 men listed for the first World War,” he said. “And over the course of four years, we lost 62,000 killed in action and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.”

Mr Gardiner described the number of Australian servicemen and women killed or injured in the conflict and all since as a “terrible price to pay to uphold the peace we’ve got”.

“I don’t think any of us need to be reminded that we have got immense gratitude and thanks to the people who have allowed us to have the life we’ve got today,” he said.

The Brunswick VFRS was once again the site of the catafalque party, while the Brunswick Singers’ Choir and Lyndon Edwards provided music for the service.

Ms Talbot thanked the Brunswick Men’s Shed for a new Seat of Reflection at the war memorial, made from timber from the former horse stables at the Brunswick Showgrounds.

The service concluded with Mr Green thanking Ms Talbot for her efforts in organising the commemorations.

A sausage sizzle followed, raising funds for the Brunswick Junction Community Resource Centre.

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