Busselton and Dunsborough residents brave rain and cold to commemorate Anzac Day
The less-than-desirable wet weather conditions on Tuesday morning did not stop hundreds of Busselton residents turning out to honour those who gave their lives fighting for liberty as part of Anzac Day commemorations across the nation.
Crowds turned out in droves, braving the rain and cold, to attend both dawn and morning services at the Busselton War Memorial to pay their respects to Australian and New Zealander veterans.
With several performances from community groups the Busselton Brass Band, Busselton Choral Society, Voices of Vasse and musician Mike Wilkinson it was easy for people’s spirits to be lifted amid the wintry conditions.
In his first Anzac Day service since taking on the role, Busselton RSL president Steven Mott gave a moving speech recognising the sacrifice made by those who served, and the Australian qualities they carried with them.
“It was in the horror of warfare, where lives were destroyed. . . our national identity was forged,” he said.
“Mateship is at the heart of what we refer to as the Anzac values that drives loyalty, courage, endurance, and sacrifice.
“It is a compelling reason for most acts of heroism, and the suffering so often experienced by our servicemen and women, for not letting the team down is a powerful motivator in our defence forces psyche.
“Whenever Australians are called to assist mateship comes to the fore.”
He also gave a special acknowledgement to local veterans who once walked among the South West community but were taken too soon — including Clarence Edward Sutton, George and Arthur Berryman as well as veteran and friend Marcus Case with whom he fought alongside in Afghanistan.
Down in Dunsborough, the rain was not enough to keep away the Anzac Spirit, more than 300 people gathering for the community march and service at Dunsborough Foreshore.
Afganistan veteran Shane Johnson gave a touching speech reflecting on his own time in the war, and the affect it had on his friends at the time, while 11-year-old Our Lady of the Cape Primary School student Chloe Halloran provided an youth’s insight to war, shedding light on what Anzac means to her.
“I can’t make sense in killing people or imagining why people would want to kill us, I can only believe we do this for a cause greater than ourselves,” she said.
“This is where I believe the spirit of the Australian digger comes from...their selflessness and dedication to the community.
“When I see a volunteer working for a worthy cause, or someone helping for no other reason than just to help, when people simply help without want or recognition, be it in defence of this nation or otherwise, this is the Anzac spirit.”
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