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ANZAC Day 2015 the centenary of the Gallipoli landing 1915

ANZAC Day 2015 the centenary of the Gallipoli ANZAC landing 25th April, 1915

Wangi Wangi ANZAC Day Banner - Leigh Warren

This year I spent ANZAC Day at Wangi Wangi in NSW.   Given this day almost didn’t eventuate; the very fact that it did proceed was almost worthy of the ANZAC Spirit itself.   This year ANZAC Day was a Saturday however we need to travel back to the previous Monday (20th April) when some of the worst storms ever to hit the Hunter Region lashed out – the photo below shows the storm coming across Lake Macquarie and even then nobody expected what was about to hit…

Stormfront rolling over Lake Macquarie

The Hunter Region was declared a Natural Disaster Zone with somewhere around 215,000 homes without power many for over a week.   The local schools were closed for the week as giant trees had been ripped from the ground and thrown about like twigs.   In fact they say it may take a month or more to clean up.    Many places flooded with over 300mm of rain falling in a short time, cars got washed away and squashed when trees fell on them.   Wangi Wangi had winds in excess of 125kph recorded – Below is the cafe next to the library, Dobel Park and the local jetty.

Wangi Wangi Storm damage

By Friday morning a generator had been set up at the Wangi Wangi RSL with everything being worked on because ANZAC Day would be tomorrow – Saturday and still no one had power.   But then something happened, the rain slowed the community rallied together and power was restored to the RSL by Friday Night – ANZAC Day would go ahead.

By 0430hrs I was at the Wangi Wangi RSL in suit and tie with medals both mine and my families.   We were setting up the sound system and getting the last minute preparations done.

By 0530hrs we were ready and the Dawn Service started with a record crowd in attendance even with everything that had been thrown at us, in fact there were record crowds at most of the Dawn Services.

Major lone_piperStuart Jones played the Last Post and Reveille on a special 100 year commemorative bugle owned by the Wangi Wangi RSL Sub Branch.

After the Dawn Service came the traditional Gunfire Breakfast of eggs and bacon and then we prepared for the march at 1000hrs.

This would be an amazing sight with three schools, the Fire Brigade, a record 59 Historic Military Vehicles, a 100 or so RAAF from 1 SECFOR Sqn, a fly over and of course us marching and… an Iroquois (Huey) Helicopter landing at the RSL.

Below are some pictures taken from the ANZAC Parade by the local paper Lakes Mail…

 

ANZAC March Leigh

Above are the RAAF contingent from 1 SECFOR Sqn and me on the right with 2 local Vietnam Vets.   Below are some of the 59 military vehicles…

ANZAC March veh 1

Bren Gun Carriers, Jeeps, Tracked Vehicles and more – just amazing and eerie, watching them drive down the street before the parade in the dark takes you to another time…

ANZAC March veh 2

And of course the landing of the fabulous ‘Huey’ on the grounds of the Wangi Wangi RSL…

Huey Landing

After everything that happened it was nice to relax and watch the traditional game of Two-Up. Well that was my ANZAC Day, what was yours like? Why don’t you let me know.

ANZAC Leigh

Don’t forget, if you see me out on the road say gday or hit me up on UHF Channel 40

Leigh Warren - Country Music Outlaw Don’t forget to check for new blogs on the 1st & 15th of each month, till next time, take care, yours in country music – Leigh

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