Flag bearer Garry McCabe, who served with the Navy in Malaysia, stands proud.
Flag bearer Garry McCabe, who served with the Navy in Malaysia, stands proud.

Yamba braves the cold to pay respects

By Adrian Miller

About 300 people braved the unsettled conditions atop Yamba's Main Beach yesterday to pay their respects to Australia's fallen heroes.

The men, women and children huddled together to keep out of the howling wind as they commemorated the 91st anniversary of Anzac Day.

The mid-morning ceremony was attended by a much larger crowd than the dawn service, which attracted around 50 people. They were brave and hardy souls, with frigid temperatures keeping many people away.

But just a few hours later, and led by the Maclean Pipe Band, more than 70 Diggers, and relatives of Diggers, marched down Clarence Street to the cenotaph to begin proceedings.

Many school children marched behind, highlighting the students' commitment and understanding of the day.

Yamba RSL Sub-Branch president Jim Watts opened the service, and called on the crowd to remember exactly why they were gathered. The prologue, read by St James school captains Dylan Spagnolo and Tess Ellem, called for the audience to think of the day Australia declared itself a nation.

"On this day we remember the sacrifice of such men for an ideal, for a way of life," they read.

"We think of every man, woman and child who, in those crucial years, died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine."

After prayers and hymns, Lower Clarence Baptist Church pastor Andrew Groves spoke of the Australia created because of the the Anzacs.

"A knowledgeable nation should not forget the ideals the Anzacs contributed to our nation," he said. "The identity of Australia and the freedom we enjoy as Australians is because of these men, and we should remain thankful for that."



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