On parade ... old Digger Warren Meredith  sits in one of the parade jeeps.
On parade ... old Digger Warren Meredith sits in one of the parade jeeps. Trevor Veale

'Yobbos' kept at bay on Anzac day

FEARS that Clarence Valley Anzac Day celebrations last weekend would spill into drunken violence have proved unfounded.

Grafton District Services Club manager Arthur Lysaught said he feared the day would be ruined by the drunken behaviour affecting the Jacaranda Festival and July Racing Carnival.

But Mr Lysaught said he was happy to be proved wrong.

“I've been in this job for 30 years and it was great to be able to celebrate Anzac Day in the traditional way,” he said.

Police last week issued a warning to residents that bad behaviour would not be tolerated on Anzac Day.

But Grafton police were pleased to report yesterday there were no major incidents on Saturday.

This is in stark contrast to Sydney celebrations, which police said were ruined by the alcohol-fuelled violence of young binge drinkers.

Mr Lysaught said other major events in the Clarence Valley had been tainted by drunken behaviour and it was good to see Anzac Day remain unaffected.

“It's our last great day,” Mr Lysaught said.

“Jacaranda Thursday and Grafton Cup Day were our biggest days for many years.

“But because of yobbos not controlling their alcohol consumption, all the clubs now have to close early on those days.

“We had a fear that the anti-social behaviour of Jacaranda and race week may unfortunately spill into Anzac Day, but happily it didn't.

“I'm really grateful for the people of Grafton because we had not one single problem.”

For the past few years, police have been working with clubs and hotels to reduce drunken violence at major events, resulting in pubs closing early on Jacaranda Thursday and Grafton Cup Day.



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