ANZAC Day commemorations get underway across the nation


April 25, 2018 05:00:02

Crowds have gathered at a number of Anzac Day events across the country on the 103rd anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli.

A pin could have dropped in Martin Place before the dawn service began with a mood that could only be described as solemn.

The families of veterans took their seats as historical photos were projected onto the buildings of Martin Place.

This morning, Lea Harding, who has been coming to the service for almost 40 years, was thinking of her uncle Charlie Bonavia who died on the first day of battle at the Dardanelles at just 24 years of age.

The 91-year-old feels she is with her uncle when she is here and she thinks of how her grandmother was told of his passing.

“They never told my grandmother that he was dead, they used to tell her he was missing,” Ms Harding said.

“When I visited her as a young girl in her sitting room, the photo of my uncle was always there, and she used to say, ‘Charlie will be back’.

“She died thinking he will be back.”

Ms Harding, will later march with the Maltese RSL, and wants the soldiers currently fighting to know they are in everyone’s minds.

Helen Wake has been coming for 60 years and is here “for the pride of her country” which she wants the younger generation to feel.

She emphasised she was here not just for her uncles, Sapper G Chandler and Private J Chandler, but also “all the rest”.

“Not just my family, for everyone that served,” Ms Wake said.

She said the ANZAC Day commemorations in Sydney had changed a lot in her time but “so has everything else”.

“To answer [how it has changed] would be very political and I wouldn’t do that,” Ms Wake said.

“I just hope a few people will keep the tradition and the Australian way of life, it’s very important.”












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