Respect paid at dawn

May 03, 2017

Remembrance: Cobram Primary School students Zoe O'Toole and Isaac Crawford spoke at the dawn service.

In memory: Olga and Keith Parry were some of the many who laid poppies in remembrance.

Honouring: Cobram Secondary College's Sam and Harry Beasley.

Steady falling rain did not deter dozens of people from braving the weather to honour and commemorate those who have served, at the Cobram-Barooga Anzac Day dawn service.

Pattering rain accompanied the solemn speeches, with the crowd one of the largest in many years.

‘‘The crack of dawn, or first light as soldiers called it, was often a time for the enemy to attack,’’ Cobram Barooga RSL president Rob Brown said.

‘‘For that reason, it was customary for soldiers to stand at their post for the first half hour before dawn.

‘‘No smoking, no talking, just staring into the darkness, listening, alert and waking.

‘‘Their ceremony at the dawn service was created to allow the returned servicemen to relive that unforgettable war-time experience while spending a few quiet moments remembering their comrades who did not return, but remained on so many battlefields and so many places around the world.’’

Mr Brown said it was a solemn ceremony which should not be marred by sound or light.

Uniting Church’s Pastor Tom opened with a church prayer and Cobram Secondary College students performed the Call to Commemoration, followed by the ode. Noel Stedman played The Last Post and the lament was performed by Gavin Daveys on bagpipes.

Cobram Primary School students read the soldier’s message, while Cobram Scouts recited the poem Grandpa Will be Marching Today, which was followed by the closing prayer and benediction.

People were invited to lay a poppy in remembrance at the closing of the ceremony.

Following the service, people attended a gunfire breakfast a meal traditionally served to soldiers when they stood down from their pre-dawn vigil, at the Civic Centre.

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