Saturday, 25 April 2009

I could just hear the local Dawn Service

for Anzac Day this morning. Ours is held at the Memorial on Broadway in Colonel Light Gardens. It is a quiet suburb in memory of Colonel Light, the surveyor who laid out the centre of Adelaide. Anzac morning has been quiet too. The rain has held off until after the Dawn Services were over but it will rain for the Assembly and March.
As always, I remember standing in the rain at the Dawn Service in one of the country towns we lived in. There were a great many returned servicemen there because it was a 'solider settlement'. Unlike other areas everyone who could was expected to turn out for the service. The entire school was there each year. We did not participate, except in the hymns and prayers. It was not our service. We were merely there to pay respect and for many of students to support their fathers. It was a day on which grown men cried. Nobody misbehaved at the Anzac Day Service.
I wonder if they still have it? The district has changed. Most of the soldier settlers have gone. The scheme did not work. The men did not know about farming. Their wives were city girls. It was lonely. The land was unsuitable. Most of all though the men were physically and mentally unfit to farm. They had injuries none of us could see - until they cried.

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