The following report of the Anzac Day commemoration service, written by Lorraine Gunn, appeared in the May edition of Axedale Antics
What would we do in Axedale without our volunteers? At around 5.30 to 6am on the morning of Anzac Day, no doubt after a restless night, Phil Hughes woke to a rainy morning with a doubtful weather forecast, and he was the organiser of an outdoor celebration of the most solemn day in the Australian calendar. What were his options?
By 6.30 the troops, members of the Axedale Our Town Our Future committee, were rallying to transfer the celebrations to the Axedale Hall and by 8 am. CFA volunteers had breakfast ready for early arrivals.
A wonderful crowd of more than 200 filled the hall and seamlessly, the event proceeded to mark the 102nd anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli.
President of the A.O.T.O.F. committee, Jennifer Jones, gave a speech of welcome and handed the ceremony over to Phil who conducted the program with dignity and reverence.
The Mayor of the City of Greater Bendigo, Margaret O’Rourke was in attendance together with representatives of parliamentarians, the R.S.L., school captains and Axedale service and sporting clubs, all of whom laid wreaths. Serving and veteran members of the defence forces were given the opportunity to lay a remembrance poppy followed by members of the public who wished to do so.
In addition we were entertained by the Axedale Primary school choir and the Axedale in Harmony Singers as well as a pipe band and a bugler. The choirs led the singing of the national anthem of New Zealand, first in the Maori language and then in English and to conclude the celebrations, Advance Australia Fair was sung by all participants.