ANZAC Dawn Service

ANZAC Dawn Service


 

The story of the ANZAC is a story that will be forever etched in Australian history.

 

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

 

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.

 

Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

 

Every year members of the CME Group would attend the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Brighton Esplanade ANZAC Arch of Remembrance, a very touching service for all that attend. While every year we enjoyed the Brighton service we did think, how good would it be if our local community held an ANZAC Dawn Service at the Hallett Cove foreshore overlooking the cove, the water and the cliffs. The backdrop would really feel special.

 

Enter Mr Graeme Botting from the Lions Club of Hallett Cove & Districts Inc. Mr Botting and the Lions Club had been lobbying the Local, State and Federal Governments for over six years to for funding and support to build a memorial and hold a service on the Hallett Cove foreshore. Mr Botting advised that “A group of Vietnam veterans told me it would be nice to have a service in the district to go to on Anzac Day and we’ve been fighting for it ever since.” The group compared Hallett Cove beach to the rugged Gallipoli shore, saying it would be the ideal place to start a local Anzac Day dawn service tradition.

Mr. Botting and Lions Club’s effort and resilience finally paid off in 2014 when the Local Council (Marion Council) put plans out to build a Gallipoli 100 year anniversary memorial at the Hallett Cove foreshore. The Federal Government also provided support by contributing funding the hold the inaugural Hallett Cove ANZAC Dawn Service in 2015. After finding an article in the local Messenger newspaper with Mr. Botting’s advising that the Hallett Cove Lions Club had secured federal funding, we knew that this was the opportunity that we had been waiting for; to give back to our local community by providing whatever support was required.

 

We contacted Mr. Botting and arrange a meeting to discuss what CME could offer in support of the event. After many meeting with the Marion Council and Mr. Botting, the CME Group put together an infrastructure plan to provide the following items in support of the event:

      • 1 x 4-1500watt Light Tower (kindly donated by Andy Bowles at Kennards Hire Marlestone)
      • 1 x 60kVA Diesel Generator (kindly donated by Andy Bowles at Kennards Hire Marlestone)
      • 3 x Temporary Electrical Distribution Boards (Custom built by CME for the ongoing event
      • Temporary lighting and power throughout the 8 x marquees
      • Standby onsite Electrician overnight and present at the ANZAC Dawn Service

 

The planning had been done, preparation complete when the unthinkable happened and the Bureau of Meteorology issued an extreme weather warning for the Gulf of St Vincent, gale forced winds and heavy rain for the night of the 24th of April. This now meant that no marquees could be installed at the service. The Marion Council also had to cancel the vigil that was to be held on the Hallett Cove foreshore on the night of the 24th of April.

 

We quickly worked out a backup plan with Mr. Botting for an express setup on the morning of the ANZAC Dawn Service.The inaugural ANZAC Dawn Service was a HUGE success with the crowd numbers for the event between 8000-10000 people.

 

We have since had further meeting with Mr. Botting and advised that the CME Group would support the Hallett Cove Lions Club for the ANZAC Dawn Service every year for as long as we were required

 

As a member of the community we would like to send an enormous thank you to Mr. Botting and the Hallett Cove Lions Club for what they have done for the Hallett Cove and surrounding communities, without volunteers like Graeme and his team events like the Hallett Cove ANZAC Dawn Service could not be held and the wider community would be missing out on great events.