Communities across the Gunnedah district commemorated Anzac Day with services big and small at local memorials across the district.

At Gunnedah, the Anzac Day march was led by guest speaker and current serving member of the Royal Australian Navy, Leading Seaman Aircrewman Jessica Muir.

Ms Muir is the granddaughter of Navy veteran from Gunnedah, Nev Steele.

The march was followed by a special performance by Gunnedah South Public School choir which sung ‘Always Remember’ by Ian Jefferson.

Gunnedah shire councillor Juliana McArthur delivered the introductory remarks followed by prayers from Simon Waller and playing of the Recessional by the Gunnedah Shire Band.

Councillor Juliana McArthur.

The Gunnedah service explained that Anzac Day is to remember the “great tragedy of war” in conflicts past and present.

“We remember all who have fallen since in the defence of peace on land, in the air and on the sea,” the opening address read.

“We remember each man, woman and child who has died so that the light of freedom, justice and humanity may continue to shine.”

The laying of wreaths was followed by the Ode read by Gunnedah RSL sub-Branch president John Commins.

After the Last Post and Benediction, the New Zealand national was sung by Katerina Haenga and the Australian national anthem by Elsie Walshe.

Earlier that morning in Curlewis, the Rural Fire Service mounted a catafalque party at the memorial before a welcome address by Denise Scott.

A commemorative address was delivered by Chief Clerk WO2 Peter Brett who spoke about what Anzac Day means to him, highlighting the “trust, purpose and mateship that we share as Australian soldiers”.

Gunnedah RSL sub-Branch president, John Commins.

A prayer was read by Alona Pryor, followed by bible readings from school captains Kaylee Allen and Calais Riley.

St Mary’s College student Clare Canham also presented the youth perspective at the Curlewis Anzac Day service.

The Last Post and Rouse was played by Alison Roach from the Gunnedah Shire Band before the national anthem was sung by Kaitlyn MacAulay.

At Breeza, about 80 people attended the march and service at the war memorial.

Service host Marlene Neader offered special mention to the “beautiful speech” delivered by guest speaker Kevin Porter.

The retired minister from Quirindi spoke about conflicts from World War I to the present.

Such was the impact of his delivery, those in the audience said it was “even better than a PM’s speech”.

Wreaths were laid by relatives of service members and Gunnedah shire councillor Murray O’Keefe.

Sue Etheridge played the bugle at Breeza before the national anthem and conclusion of the service.

Afterwards, attendees gathered at the Breeza community hall for morning tea and light refreshments.

The 2024 Anzac Day service at Breeza. Photo courtesy Mitchum Neave

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