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Anzac crowds warm Vets’ hearts

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton RSL warden Peter Dalgleish and Keith Scardifield are encouraging the community to attend the city's upcoming Anzac Day commemorations.
Camera IconBusselton RSL warden Peter Dalgleish and Keith Scardifield are encouraging the community to attend the city's upcoming Anzac Day commemorations.

The sheer number of people who attend the city’s dawn service every year never ceases to amaze Busselton RSL president Keith Scardifield.

The sea of people spilling on to Bussell Highway is something Mr Scardifield, who served in the Gulf War, says is a warming sight for all veterans.

“I have the honour to stand up and address the crowd and I am always in awe of how deep the crowd gets, and I know there are more behind me too,” he said.

“Every year it astounds me, and the atmosphere is incredible.”

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The Busselton RSL will hold two services to commemorate Anzac Day.

The first will be the dawn service, which will begin at 6am at the Busselton War Memorial.

The dawn service will be followed by a gunfire breakfast at the RSL.

The later service will be preceded by a march, which will step off from the corner of Marine and Queen streets at 9am.

The march will head up Queen Street, finishing at the memorial, for a 9.15am service.

This will be followed by a morning tea, lunch and two-up at the RSL.

More than 100 members of Busselton RSL are expected to participate in the march.

They will be joined by representatives from the navy, scouts, cadets and relatives of those who have served. Busselton RSL warden Peter Dalgleish, a Vietnam veteran, encouraged the community to attend the services.

“Anzac Day is about remembering those who met the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” he said. “Gallipoli is where the forces came together as one; it was the foundation of our nation where we established our credentials and first became known for our mateship and tenacity.

“Anzac Day is about showing respect, and also honouring the families who supported their loved ones, many of whom didn’t come home, or came home not quite the same.”

Mr Scardifield echoed Mr Dalgleish, saying while Anzac Day was originally created to honour those who served in the Gallipoli campaign, it now commemorated all Australians and New Zealanders who had served in wars, conflicts or peacekeeping throughout the world, up until the present day.

“The Australian National Anthem says ‘for we are young and free’ — we are free because of the Anzacs,” he said.

“We need to pay homage to those people and the two million Australians who have served over the last century.

“We thank them for giving us beautiful county we’ve got.”

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