Anzac Day Service
The ANZAC Day sunrise service at the Dahmongah Look-Out Park was attended this year by a record crowd, estimated by some to be upwards of 400. There were many who travelled to be at our service, including a squad of motorcylists.
The service was led once more by the charismatic Neil Eiby OAM, even though he had announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 service. But this really was his last appearance at Mt Mee. He and wife Pat now live at Buderim, and they have responsibilities there.
It was wonderful to see Andrew Powell, member for Glass House and Minister for Environment and Heritage joining with local residents Denton Webster, John Robinson, Lisa Russell and Pam Nott to be involved in the presentation, and to have Vern Duncan sing. Two Mt Mee School pupils did a great job with a Banjo Patterson reading, Pastors John Lind and Keith Marsh provided their specialized services. Barbara Marsh provided piano accompiament to the hymn and anthems and Angie McNab piped the service in and played throughout the wreathlaying ceremony. And what beautiful wreaths they were, made with flowers from Mt Mee gardens.
It really was a community event.
There were two outstanding highlights. One was the address by Colonel John Mayer, a serving officer of the United States Marine Corps with an astonishing active service record and who has latterly specialized in amphibious warfare. The Colonel has been on secondment to the ADF for the past three years, and has been living with his family at Ocean View. He is a brilliant speaker with a profound understanding of men at war, and he has an uncanny ability to present facts and to then draw deeply significant conclusions from them. We were very privileged to have him as guest speaker in 1913 and again this year, almost on the eve of his departure for the ‘States. Incredibly, the Colonel says that he will then be looking at retirement. How the US can let a man of his stature leave their service is beyond understanding!
Colonel Mayer brought Colonel Terrence Dunne of the US Marines to our service as his guest. Colonel Dunne will be replacing him in secondment to the ADF at Gallipoli Barracks.
The other highlight was of course the flyover – provided this year by four De Havilland Chipmunk trainers of WW2 vintage – all in RAF livery. Flying in perfect formation, (and lower than we should perhaps mention), this was a superb and very emotional moment.
The event was concluded with the traditional Gunfire Breakfast, provided at nominal cost by the Mountaintop Church, and there was tea and coffee with a truly irresistible aroma, to warm the heat and satisfy the spirit
Look-out for the centennial service next year! It will be even better!
Copy by Ian Wells. Photos by Brett Beutel and Jeanette Stone.