ANZAC DAY SERVICES AROUND THE ISLANDS
Anzac services around the islands were mostly well supported and enjoyed in brilliant conditions.
The Macleay Island Dawn Service was its traditional ‘best’, with Father Jim Brown again doing a great job and the Macleay Island RSL Sub Branch running proceedings.
The sun rise over the water directly onto the cenotaph was beautiful, and made even more spectacular with a special ‘salute’ by a cluster of Kookaburras and their very Australian call.
There was no military presence this year, but students of the Macleay Island State School stood in admirably as the catafaque party.
The attendance was large and comparable with previous years, many staying to enjoy the Gunfire Breakfast at the end of proceedings.
Another welcome addition was the Friendly Bay Islander sponsored Anzac Seat which was unveiled for the first time in the lovely small park at the end of Morwong Street, Macleay Island.
A lovely touch was the lone bunch of flowers and poppy and dawn service program that was left on the seat for the day.
Dawn services were also held on all the islands, but it is only on Macleay and Lamb islands where they are the only Anzac Day service.
And Lamb and Karragarra Islands are the only islands where the services are run by the community rather than an RSL sub branch as such, a great effort.
On Lamb Island the community really got behind the Dawn Service this year with more than 100 islanders turning out for the service and the Gunfire Breakfast at the cenotaph adjacent to the island club and the Pioneer Hall.
Both dawn and main services were held on Russell Island, again with big attendances, particularly for the main March later in the morning.
The services were aided by the TS Diamantina Navy Cadets who annually make the pilgrimage to the islands for Anzac Day services.
The Russell Island RSL Club was a hive of activity for the remainder of the day with Gunfire breakfasts, reminiscing and the traditional ‘two up’.
A feature of the Coochiemudlo Island dawn and main services was the Simpson and his Donkey recreation and the WW1 nurses and soldiers in period dress - an outstanding effort.
Again the events this year were spearheaded by RSL stalwart Douglas Cope.
Crowds were down a little this year on North Stradbroke Island, although still well supported.
The island RSL Sub Branch conducted the event with a Gunfire breakfast following the Dawn Service, and busy throughout the day at the RSL Club at Dunwich. The Little Ship Club was also busy.
The final service for the day was at the brilliant Karragarra Beach for their now traditional ‘Dusk Service’
How poignant it is with the brilliant sunset overlooking the beach and the floral tributes being handed by Member for Redlands Matt McEachan to Shane Reeve in his kayak.
They were then taken out into mid stream to float away in a fitting remembrance.
Great end to a wonderful day that pays tribute to those young Australians who have given so much.