Millicent residents honour Anzacs

Millicent residents honour Anzacs

Total attendance numbers at Anzac Day events in Millicent on Thursday were well over 1000 as the community marked the passing of 109 years since the Gallipoli landings.

The day began with the dawn service at 6am at the Cross of Sacrifice and it was conducted before a record gathering of 700 by RSL chaplain and retired minister Pastor Paul Hales.

The catafalque party at the dawn service was again mounted by cadets from 48 Army Cadet Unit in Mount Gambier.

The dawn service was followed by the traditional gunfire breakfast with the assistance of the Millicent Lions Club and Millicent Shooting Starz Girl Guides at the nearby RSL war memorial clubrooms.

Wattle Range Council Mayoress Shari Noll with Mario and Ricardo Amaroo da Silva.

Around 200 meals were consumed while coffee with a dash of special ingredient was served.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin donates the special ingredient to RSL sub-branches across the electorate ahead of each Anzac Day.

Later in the morning at 10.45am, the Anzac Day march commenced from the George Hotel.

As before, transport was provided in heritage vehicles for those who could not march the 300-metre route.

A detachment of a Light Horse re-enactment troupe as well as a small band of drummer and bagpipers had led the 2023 march but all had other commitments this year.

Marchers were instead led by a police patrol car and were joined by local uniformed members of the CFS and SES.

The Millicent SES contingent of Rodney Phillips, Abbie Golding, Rory Marshall, Jaymee Golding, Cathy Perry and unit manager Gavin Golding.

The march made its way along a closed George Street to the Cross of Sacrifice for a further service conducted by Pastor Paul at 11am.

There were around 500 present at the service which lasted 45 minutes.

Speeches were delivered by Millicent RSL president Chris Mathias, Independent Nick McBride and Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll.

“Anzac Day is a day for thought, prayer and reflection,” Mr Mathais said.

The supreme sacrifice during World War II of Kingston RAAF pilot Sergeant Keith McBride was described by his great nephew Nick McBride.

Mayor Noll presented the Acknowledgement of Country at the start of the service and then paid tribute to fallen Millicent soldier Corporal John Mott Marion midway through it.

The Millicent CFS contingent comprised Simon Baker, Lawson Baker, John de Wit, Phil Richards, Zakary Evans and Noah Telfer.

Corporal Marion was a Military Medal winner and made the supreme sacrifice in 1918 when trying to retrieve three of his mates from No Man’s Land.

Corporal Marions name is listed on the Millicent Cross of Sacrifice.

Over 30 wreaths were laid by local businesses, individuals, schools and other representatives of organisations.

The Baptist Church again conducted an Anzac Day service in the Diva Room at Boneham Aged Care Services.

Boneham resident and naval veteran Fred Ellis, 96, was interviewed by the national broadcaster ahead of Anzac Day about his World War II experiences aboard minesweepers.

His views were broadcast on capital city stations and across the state.

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