A small band of returned servicemen lead the school children in the march at Lawrence.
A small band of returned servicemen lead the school children in the march at Lawrence.

Lawrence keeps Anzac spirit alive

By Ian Thomson

A visitor to the main Anzac Day ceremony at Lawrence yesterday was overheard to remark on the great turnout for such a small village.

It was a good point.

After a dawn service that included the Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, the later march to the war memorial set out from the 114year-old village's Literary Institute hall.

Eighteen-year-old flag bearer Brian Wright, led the march as he has done for the past five years. Behind him, sea cadets, just a handful of veterans and family members and local school children.

There were only about 25 in the march, but a much bigger crowd applauded their arrival at the war memorial where guards stood like statues around the cenotaph. Over the road, a few head of grazing cattle remained oblivious to the fact that another proud Clarence Valley centre was turning out in numbers to remember the fallen and to give thanks for freedom.

There is no RSL subbranch, as such, in Lawrence. The services were organised by Allan Hill and Geoff Munro of the Returned and Ex-service Men and Women of Lawrence. And they went like clockwork.

The Anzac Day services at Lawrence were, of course, extremely traditional. What stood out was the way the village, including its school children, arrived in numbers to keep the spirit alive and well. Lawrence is not about to turn out the lights of freedom and humanity. No way.



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