Anzac spirit lives in Grafton
THERE was a poignant moment at Memorial Park, Grafton, yesterday.
Just as piper Alastair McInnes began to play the opening notes of Lament, a kookaburra perched itself on top of the cenotaph.
The magnificent bird sat there, as if at attention, for much of the song, surveying the park and the hundreds of people who had gathered to commemorate the 95th anniversary of Anzac Day. As if sensing the occasion, it kept its trademark ‘laugh’ to itself.
It was a memorable moment befitting such an important day.
Indeed the importance of the day was not lost on the people of Grafton, with one of the bigger crowds in recent memory turning out to pay their respects.
In fact so big was the crowd, Grafton RSL Sub-branch president Brian Bultitude made a small joke at the beginning of the ceremony.
“I’m glad we’ve got the Mayor here; he might have to build a bigger park,” Mr Bultitude quipped.
Mr Bultitude was also overwhelmed by the large number of school children who marched or attended the service.
“Each year I look in amazement at the number of children,” he said.
Students from Westlawn and Grafton public schools spoke at the ceremony, as did McAuley Catholic College students Riley Spratt and Patrick Crompton.
Bugler Gary Nichols’ renditions of The Last Post and Reveille put the exclamation mark on a moving ceremony.
One thing was clear – the Anzac spirit is alive and well in Grafton