Topics:  anzac day, gin gin, mt perry

Spirits high at Gin Gin, Mt Perry

Maroondan State School students Joseph Denning, Donald Denning and Brock Hams at the Gin Gin Anzac Day civic service.
Maroondan State School students Joseph Denning, Donald Denning and Brock Hams at the Gin Gin Anzac Day civic service.

THEY may only be small towns, but the communities of Gin Gin and Mt Perry showed true Anzac Day spirit that would have made any war veteran proud.

The colourful wreaths which adorned the Gin Gin Memorial Cenotaph lit up the stretch of the Bruce Hwy where more than 1500 gathered for the civic service.

Fathers and sons marched hand-in-hand, grandchildren proudly wore the medals of their forefathers and diggers reflected on past conflicts in which they once served.

Australian Defence Force Academy officer cadet Luke Minton received special leave from Canberra to be at the Gin Gin ceremony to march alongside his grandfather Len Usher.

Mr Usher is battling terminal prostate cancer and yesterday's Anzac Day was likely to be his last.

"(Being here is) extremely important to me because grandpa has been a father figure in my life," Mr Minton said.

"I remember when I was younger, I was always marching with him on Anzac Day."

The 19-year-old said his grandfather had been one of the reasons why he had been inspired to join the defence force.

"Joining the military is a family tradition," he said.

It was Vietnam Veteran Pat Fallon's second Anzac Day service in Gin Gin, since moving to Wallaville two years ago.

"The service was well done," he said. "I like the way they stop the traffic for the Last Post, as a sign of respect."

Mr Fallon said he would be back marching in next year's parade.

"I hope to have my grandsons with me next year," he said.

Gin Gin RSL president Nev Rayfield said about 100 people turned up for the dawn service.

"It's the biggest one I've ever seen - it was absolutely fantastic," he said.

The leopard tank in Mt Perry took centre stage as record numbers flocked to Heusman St for the town's dawn service.

RSL President Peter Baker said 70 people were up at the crack of dawn to pay homage to the Anzacs.

"The dawn service is the epitome of Anzac Day because it symbolises that morning when the soldiers landed on the beach at Gallipoli," he said.

"People make the extra effort even though they might not have been service men and women - I think they feel it's their way of saying thank you."


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