Dorrigo’s ANZAC Day commenced with the Dawn Service at the Dorrigo Monument at 5.30am. It was the largest commemoration for years. Reverend Vivian Hoskins homily on ANZAC was a challenging journey into our past. The Honour Roll of all the names on the Monument was read out. Special guest at the Dawn Service was the Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan, MHR and his wife Ilona.
Every Ex-serviceman and woman who is buried in the Dorrigo cemetery had a sprig of rosemary and an Australian Flag placed on their headstone.
The March and Wreath Laying Service at 11.00am again saw a huge crowd in attendance who clapped and cheered the Veteran contingent. The march was lead by the Dorrigo Light Horse Troop and accompanied by Piper Peter Mortimore and Drummer Robin Burley. The flag bearers from the Fire Brigade formed the honour guard at the Monument.
Our Guest of Honour was the Member for Oxley, Hon Melinda Pavey, MLA and her husband Warren. Bellingen Shire Mayor, Dominic King also was in attendance.
The Dorrigo Monument was rededicated after its restoration following the accident last year. The Centenary Plaque was unveiled by Diggers Bernie Fell, Nevyl Cox and Harley Gibson and Patron of the Sub Branch Digger Binks Dowling. Rev Vivian Hoskins blessed the restored Monument and as is customary at dedications, the names of those men inscribed on the stone were read out.
Digger Barry Thatcher conducted the ceremony of commemoration and the number of wreathes laid is the largest ever. Digger Bob Denner read a message from Mark Donaldson VC, who is a life member of the Dorrigo RSL Sub Branch .
The Dorrigo High School Captains Ani Sibanda and Liam Clements, spoke on the relevance of ANZAC day. Both these outstanding young members of our community made us proud with their depth of understanding of the ANZAC Spirit.
We missed our wonderful Barbara Weaver’s rendition of the National Anthem but John Peppercorn gave an outstanding version.
A special vote of thanks was given to all those who assisted with the restoration of our town’s centerpiece.
The ANZAC day lunch was later served in the RSL Club for Ex-servicemen and Women and their partners and members of the Women’s’ Auxiliary.
Like any event in our community a day like this does not happen without the support of a large number of other people and organisations. The Dorrigo RSL sub Branch wishes to sincerely thank the following for their support and help: Bellingen Shire Council and the Dorrigo Works staff, the Dorrigo Memorial RSL Club, Dorrigo Fire Brigade, Dorrigo State Emergency Service, New South Wales Police, Golf Club, , Dennis Atkins, John Peppercorn, Vivian Hoskins, and all those who attended our commemorations and supported the Dorrigo RSL Sub Branch Auxiliary street stall and raffles.
Thank you Dorrigo, we are proud to be a part of this community.
Written by Bob Denner, Dorrigo RSL Sub Branch. Photos by Reverend Vivian Hoskins.