RAIN, HAIL OR SHINE: Though touched by rain, the 2016 Maclean Anzac service was one of the most well-attended in years.
RAIN, HAIL OR SHINE: Though touched by rain, the 2016 Maclean Anzac service was one of the most well-attended in years. Clair Morton

Fifty years after Long Tan memories stick in Maclean

AS THE choir sang Anzac hymn 'Shelter' at Maclean's cenotaph, amused smiles escaped some of their faces.

The opening lyrics, 'I'm drowning in the sunshine as it pours down from the skies', seemed slightly ironic as the heavens opened up and drenched those without umbrellas.

Thankfully the downpour was short-lived, and the sun did in fact shine down on those who placed a wreath at the Maclean cenotaph during the annual service.

Maclean sub-branch president Kevin Jones OAM said the crowd was huge compared to previous years, bolstered by those attending the Smith family reunion.

"We thought we had a big one for the 100th year last year," he said.

"Well this is 101 and it's definitely bigger."

For returned serviceman and Maclean John Stubbs, each Anzac Day service has more meaning than the last.

This year especially, as it marks 50 years since the battle of Long Tan.

"We were sitting and watching a show with Col Joye and Little Pattie... Lucky Grills was the comedian... at Nui Dat, and the next minute over came some of the mortars.

"The show was abandoned and everybody had to run like hell. It was then when we knew something was on."



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