Kiama Anzac Day march 2014: photos

Wollongong march and service | Shellharbour | Port Kembla | Austinmer

A few thousand Kiama residents gathered to honour the 99th anniversary of Anzac Day on Friday.

The day marks the anniversary of the first landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli during World War I. 

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary. 

Kiama hosted its Anzac Day dawn service at the Memorial Arch. 

The dawn service was attended by an estimated thousand people, despite the wet conditions. 

‘Whether their names be engraved in stone or cast in bronze, they would indeed be proud to know we have not forgotten.'

This was followed by a Commemoration of Anzac Ceremony, which included a wreath-placing ceremony, and address by guest speaker, former Army officer, historian and author Gary McKay.

The march and service began at 10.30am from the council chambers in Manning Street to the Memorial Arch.

Mr McKay of Kiama Downs, 66, served in Vietnam with the 4th Battalion, an Anzac Battalion. 

He was severely wounded in battle in September 1971, spending the next 12 months in and out of hospital.

He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. 

Mr McKay provided the gathering with an overview of World War I and its aftermath.

‘‘The impact of the war was not confined to the battlefields; it was also felt at home,’’ he said. 

‘‘Families and communities grieved deeply following the loss of so many men, and we can see it on the tablets behind me here today.”

Kiama-Jamberoo RSL Sub-Branch president Ian Pullar also addressed the crowd. 

“The Anzacs never lost their sense of pride and determination to succeed – and succeed they did to an extent which is now legend in the annals of military history,’’ he said. 

‘‘We owe them and all those who have served and are still serving throughout Australia’s military history an enormous debt, which we in some measure repay with this commemoration. 

‘‘Whether their names be engraved in stone or cast in bronze, they would indeed be proud to know that we have not forgotten.” 

Kiama’s Neil Hawkins, 92, served in World War II as part of the Air Force’s 460 Squadron.

He was part of the bomber command operating in Germany. 

Mr Hawkins said he regularly attended Kiama’s Anzac Day services. 

‘‘It was well-organised, well-attended, and showed the true spirit of the remembrance of the fallen,’’ he said.

He also took the opportunity to reflect on his wartime efforts, which included ‘‘bombing Nazi Germany for a long time’’. 

‘‘Our squadron was the top-leading Australian squadron, and operated over a long time,’’ he said. 

‘‘I didn’t enjoy what we did, but we did it very well and saved a lot of lives.’’

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