Thousands turn out for Pilbara ANZAC Day services
The notes of the Last Post rang out over hushed crowds at ANZAC Day dawn services across the Pilbara this morning, as thousands of residents gathered to pay their respects to the men and women who have served our country.
In Karratha, more than a thousand people gathered at the Karratha Country Club for a ceremony and march.
In his speech, Pilbara Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Brett Grant spoke of the importance of ANZAC Day as a time not to celebrate war, but remember our heroes both past and present.
Wreaths were laid by many including the Pilbara Regiment, City of Karratha, police, SES, fire services and students from all of the schools in town.
At the end of the ceremony a Haka was performed by locals from New Zealand and a breakfast followed at the Country Club and Pilbara Regiment headquarters.
In Roebourne, several hundred people gathered for an intimate ceremony at the cenotaph in the town’s main street.
The North West’s oldest town was the only established settlement in the City of Karratha area during World War I and the cenotaph bears the names of the 172 men from Roebourne and surrounds who enlisted.
As a Catafalque party stood to attention, speakers spoke of the ANZACs’ sacrifice, recited an ode to their memory, sang the Australian and New Zealand national anthems and laid wreaths in tribute.
The service was followed by a gunfire breakfast at the Roebourne fire station.
Meanwhile in Port Hedland, hundreds gathered under the cover of darkness at the local war memorial.
Vehicles drove in on mass, creating an unbroken path of red tail lights into town.
At the conclusion of the ceremony a sole member of the crowd performed an unplanned Haka by the memorial, joined by one other.
Speeches by representatives of the Pilbara Regiment and RSL reaffirmed to those silently gathered that the day was a solemn one and devoted remembering the realities of war and sacrifices made.
Other Pilbara towns to host dawn services included Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Onslow, Newman and Exmouth.
For more, see next Wednesday’s issue of the Pilbara News.
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