As I noted in a recent Mayoral Column in the Southern Courier, the unfortunate demise of the Botany sub-branch of the RSL’s registered club meant that the traditional dawn service at Booralee Park wasn’t held this year.
I’ve had a number of people call me at my office to express their regrets that this important and always moving service wasn’t held this year. For many years, being down at Booralee in the pre-dawn dark with local returned service men and women on Anzac Day was one of the most poignant and emotional events of the year.
As the sun came up, remembering those Australians who gave their lives in conflicts around the world was a common feeling among everyone who attended.
In recent years I was pleased to see a growing number of young people attending the dawn service – as they do for the major Sydney dawn service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place – showed that the Anzac spirit had transcended generations.
Although Anzac Day has always been organised by our local RSL branches, I viewed with concern about the the loss of our local dawn service, so prior to Anzac Day I approached Robert Morris of Mascot RSL and offered the RSL sub-branches assistance so that the Botany dawn service will be held next year – and in the years ahead – down at the memorial in Booralee Park.
So, next year, in conjunction with this Council’s good friends in both RSL sub branches we’ll continue the tradition of the Booralee dawn service.