From the minute dawn broke until the last post played at the final ceremony the streets, parks and clubs all over the Tamworth region bustled with residents commemorating those who have fallen, served and continue to serve this great nation.
While the dawn service at Tamworth’s Anzac Park was one of the largest in recent memory, so too were the respective services all over the region including Manilla, Kootingal, Attunga, Gipps St and Walcha.
Tamworth RSL President Bob Chapman said that while it seems to be growing nationwide, “there continues to be a really strong sense of patriotism in this region.”
“The people of the Tamworth region keep getting behind Anzac Day with gusto, which is great.”
“The Dawn Service was the biggest we have seen since 2008, and the town turned out in huge numbers for the March and the ceremony at the Town Hall – the tradition is certainly in safe hands for future generations.”
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Mr Chapman believes the large inclusion of school groups across all aspects of the day is a real positive for the region, and acting Mayor Helen Tickle agreed.
Cr Tickle delivered an emotionally charged address at the Town Hall service, where she too applauded the town turning out to remember and commemorate.
“We are seeing larger numbers nationwide, but particularly in the Tamworth region,” she said.
“Increasingly people are wanting to show respect to those that served in conflict and war to give us the freedom we have today.
“It was great to see all the school children, and young people mixed in with veterans and the older generations – the Town Hall was overflowing with people this year, I haven’t seen it that busy before.”
Meanwhile Alida Childer, an Anzac exchange student from St Peters College in Gore, Tamworth’s New Zealand sister city was blown away by the public fervour surrounding the commemorative day.
“There was a lot more people involved in the ceremonies, services and marches here than there are in New Zealand,” she said.
“The sense of community here is amazing – it is definitely something I will take home with me.”
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