Anzac Day commemorations: Thousands cheer on parades across Queensland

Updated April 27, 2014 07:06:52

Thousands of people lined the streets of Brisbane’s CBD to watch the Anzac Day march, as part of more than 260 events across the state.

More than 140 units made up of returned servicemen and current serving military personnel marched through the city from 10:00am (AEST).

Army trucks and old heritage cars carried the dwindling number of World War II veterans in the parade – the youngest of whom is now 78.

They waved to thousands of people of all ages lined up behind the barricades to pay their respects.

Five F/A-18F Super Hornets did fly-pasts of the Brisbane parade, and also at the numerous other events around the state.

It is the last Anzac Day parade officiated by Governor Penny Wensley before she ends her term this year.

This year marks the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, which gave rise to the Anzac tradition.

Brisbane resident Madonna Mortleman, 50, was at the march to cheer on her husband who served as a peacekeeper in the western Sahara during the mid-1990s.

“When you see the stories and see how brave they’ve been, that sort of thing, I think it’s just wonderful,” she said.

“I think we need to show our respect and keep it going. I enjoy it – it’s a lovely day.”

Anzac marches held around Queensland

At Townsville in the state’s north, current and former soldiers led a march along the city’s foreshore.

Members of the garrison city’s 3rd brigade are celebrating 100 years since their founding, at the beginning of the World War I.

Record crowd numbers lined The Strand to watch a convoy of armoured military cars, some of which have never before been seen in a Townsville Anzac Day parade.

In far north Queensland, after a drizzly dawn service on the Cairns Esplanade, the bad weather cut the official Anzac Day parade short.

Cairns Anzac Day Committee chairman Kel Ryan says organisers had a wet weather plan, but the downpour had been heavier than expected.

“The plans were to form up on the Esplanade, march past the Cenotaph and end up at Munro Martin Park where we have the traditional handing over of the flame from one generation to the next,” he said.

“Obviously the gods were not too kind to us this morning.”

Mr Ryan says an official ceremony at Munro Martin Park was cancelled because the grounds were getting too water-logged, and people filed into the RSL instead to pay their respects.

“We had the traditional handing over of the flame or the torch in the Cairns RSL,” he said.

“Thank you to everybody who rode with us, who tap-danced with us for the day – I think it was very successful.

“I ask everybody, every night for the next 12 months – pray that next year, the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli – the weather in Cairns will be fine.”

Residents in Mackay also paid tribute to local servicemen and women at ceremonies across the region.

Thousands of people attended dawn services in Sarina, Farleigh and the Whitsundays, while many more lined the streets of Mackay’s CBD for the annual parade.

Veterans from past conflicts marched alongside current members of the armed forces before at the remembrance ceremony at the Jubilee Park cenotaph.

Commemorations moved to Harrup Park where a two-up competition took place.

On the Darling Downs, thousands braved a chilly morning in Toowoomba to mark the south-east Queensland city’s Anzac commemoration service.

Serving soldiers, veterans and former servicemen then marched through the city centre.

Smaller services were held throughout the Darling Downs.

Thousands attend dawn services

Earlier today, tens of thousands of people turned out to dawn services across Queensland.

In Brisbane, more than 20,000 people attended the dawn service at Anzac Square.

President of the Queensland branch of the RSL, Terry Meehan, said there was renewed interest, particularly among the young.

“We went through that hiatus of about 20 years post-Vietnam where we didn’t have people in conflict,” he said.

“Now we’ve had over 60,000 serving in combat and hundreds of thousands support those 60,000.

“There’s been a real resurgence of interest and as I say social media’s played a large part, as well as the visual media.”

Topics: anzac-day, veterans, people, world-war-1, world-war-2, unrest-conflict-and-war, brisbane-4000, cairns-4870, mackay-4740, toowoomba-4350, townsville-4810

First posted April 25, 2014 11:08:19

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