Rain fails to dampen Anzac Day commemorations in Cairns

Published on ABHSO Kate Jolley (author and photographer)

Location(s): Cairns, QLD

Topic(s): HMAS Cairns, Anzac Day

Commanding Officer HMAS Cairns, Commander Anthony Powell, RAN, inspects his ship's company before stepping off for the Anzac Day March in Cairns. (photo: ABHSO Kate Jolley)
Commanding Officer HMAS Cairns, Commander Anthony Powell, RAN, inspects his ship's company before stepping off for the Anzac Day March in Cairns.

Braving the cold and rain, Navy members hailing from HMAS Cairns commemorated Anzac Day this year with a Dawn Service at the Esplanade Cenotaph followed by a parade through the city of Cairns last week.

Commanding Officer of Cairns, Commander Anthony Powell, was amazed by the dedication to remembrance shown by both service personnel and members of the public last week given the poor weather conditions.

“Over the many years I have served our Navy, I continue to be constantly amazed and heartened by Australia’s growing dedication and remembrance to both our servicemen and women and to such an historic battle,” said Commander Powell.

“This year was no exception.

“The rain and squalls at both the Dawn Service and the main parade down the Cairns Esplanade could not dampen the spirits of those marching and those many spectators supporting the parade.”

Catafalque Guard member, Able Seaman Beau Wallace from HMAS Cairns, during the Anzac Day Dawn Service ceremony held at the Esplanade Cenotaph in Cairns.

Catafalque Guard member, Able Seaman Beau Wallace from HMAS Cairns, during the Anzac Day Dawn Service ceremony held at the Esplanade Cenotaph in Cairns.

Despite the bleak sky and steady rain, the city’s main parade once again proved to be a draw card for members of the public with large crowds turning out to support former and current serving Australian Defence Force members.

Commander Powell took charge of the Cairns Naval contingent while Lieutenant Commander Andrew Garven stepped up to the role of Parade Commander.

A cacophony of colours, music, and applause urged the parade along the Esplanade with everyone involved holding their heads high. Sailors, soldiers, airmen, officers, veterans and families were among the mix and those that couldn’t march were carried or pushed.

The theme of support shown throughout the day began at the dawn service where a strong sense of community drew the crowd close as the tri-service catafalque guard solemnly marched into position.

Delegates from the community were invited to participate at the service where the dulcet sounds of high school students singing the hymn ‘Abide by Me’ was followed by the bugle’s doleful yet stirring Last Post.

Anzac Day highlights the spirit of mateship, bringing together veterans, families and defence members alike. Navy members from Cairns are proud to make up part of the North Queensland community and look forward to sharing Anzac Day commemorations with the people of Cairns each year.

Members of the Australian Defence Force prepare to march in Cairns for Anzac Day.

Members of the Australian Defence Force prepare to march in Cairns for Anzac Day.