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Anzac Day Centenary Commerated Across The East

By Marcus Braid on April 7, 2015 in News

Photo: State Library of NSW

Photo: State Library of NSW

Anzac Day is a hallowed day on the nation’s calendar, but this year the annual day of commemoration will hold added significance.

To mark 100 years since Australia’s involvement at Gallipoli, the Eastern Suburbs will be commemorating the occasion in several unique ways.

Waverley Council is running a competition for local primary and high school students to honour the Anzac Centenary. Students have been called to research and write about the life of a serviceman or woman who served in the Great War and is listed on the Waverley Park Cenotaph.

“It’s a good opportunity for everyone to learn about the ANZACs, what these amazing people went through and the sacrifices they made to basically keep us safe,” Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said. “We’re very lucky.”

The winners will be announced at Waverley Council’s Anzac commemorative service on Sunday, April 19.

Several Anzac Day services will take place on April 25, with four in the Waverley Council area, a special dawn service with the combined RSL clubs at Coogee Beach, and a separate service at Maroubra RSL.

Waverley Cemetery will hold a service from 5.10am, hosted by Bronte RSL. Throughout the day, Friends of Waverley Cemetery will also be holding free guided tours of the cemetery, focising on the war graves and memorials.

There will be a service at North Bondi War Memorial from 7am hosted by the North Bondi RSL Sub-branch, as well as a Waverley Councill-run service at Waverley Park at 7.30am and a Bronte Beach service at 10am.

“There’s always four but they’ll just be bigger this year,” Cr Betts said. “I always go to all four, so it’s a pretty busy day.

“The dawn service at Waverley Cemetery is just lovely, there are thousands that go to North Bondi, and you’ve got all the diggers marching from Bondi Junction to Waverley where we hold a ceremony in our park.

“This year what’s interesting about the service at Bronte Surf Club is they’re going to be marching down the road as well, from Bronte House. That’s going to be much bigger than it normally is. It’s a special day and it’s a time where we all need to remember.”

The Coogee Beach sunrise service starts at 5am and will include speeches, hymns and wreath laying. Local cafes and businesses are expected to open early for the occasion.

In addition to the various services, Waverley Library is holding a commemorative exhibition from April 21 to May 31 called Women of Empire.

The exhibition is an evocative display of original Anzac era costumes, and includes compelling stories of sacrifice by women from the World War I era. The exhibition is a tribute to doctors, nurses, masseuses, ambulance drivers, cooks, Red Cross aides and motorcycle messengers.