The Sawtell Anzac Day Dawn Service.
The Sawtell Anzac Day Dawn Service. Bruce Thomas

Anzac Day attendances spectacular

COFFS HARBOUR has done itself proud with yet another spectacular show of support at Anzac Day ceremonies.

The Coffs Harbour RSL sub-branch president, Bob Payne, said crowd numbers were fantastic.

“Last year was our biggest ever and this year would have to be equal to if not better across both services,” Mr Payne said.

“I would say it was on a par which is great.

"The turnout has been fantastic.

"Anzac Day is in the Coffs Harbour psyche and we do have a hell of a lot of Sydney and Brisbane visitors as well.

“The weather was kind, too, and if anything it was a little bit hot.

"It’s been a terrific day and the school kids turned out in force yet again.

"We encourage kids to get involved and looking around I am confident about the future.”

Mr Payne said the Dawn Service drew more than 2000 people including actor Russell Crowe and his two sons, while as many as 5000 attended the main service.

Among them were John and Tracey Hiscox and their two daughters, Amy 14, and Alice, 11, representing the different generations showing their respects.

Alice wore the medals of her grandfather Sam Moran who served in Papua New Guinea. Mr Hiscox said it was important to keep remembering those who made us free.

“We all have fathers and grandfathers who served in the forces and the least we can do is remember once a year,” Mr Hiscox said.

“I thought it was great the way they got the school kids involved and we bring the girls here to keep the tradition going.”

Amy said she was moved by the wreath-laying and pipes.

“I think it’s important to remember what my grandad and our other relatives did and not forget about what they went through so that we can live like we do,” Amy said.

Looking around at the huge crowd of young and old it was clear Bob Payne’s opening words were a reality.

“Remember the sacrifice of men for an ideal way of life and take strength in the knowledge that sons and daughters will never forget these sacrifices and will make sure the freedom so costly won is not worn with indifference.”