Ballina Anzac parade
By DAWN COHEN
VETERAN Mac MacCallum dug deep to straighten his stiff back as he marched in front of people lining the street for the Anzac Day march in Ballina yesterday.
"As you get older it is hard to stand up straight," said the Ballina RSL subbranch vice-president.
"But I felt that proud with so many people at the march, I stood tall."
More than 5000 people lined River Street as the drums and bagpipes of the Ballina Pipe Band led more than 1000 ex-servicemen and supporters to the Grant Street RSL Club memorial.
In his commemorative address, Daniel Craig, vice-captain of Ballina High School, said while Gallipoli failed in its military objectives, it bequeathed a tangible and powerful legacy of Anzac pride and remembrance 90 years after its occurrence.
"We are ready to respect and remember what the Anzacs did," he said.
More than 500 people attended the dawn service and about 150 made the pilgrimage to East Ballina cemetery.
It was the largest turnout mayor Cr Phil Silver recalls at a Ballina Anzac Day commemoration. "It is very gratifying," he said.
RSL sub-branch president Blue McNally said more people attended because the club involved schools in the march.
Mother-of-three Megan Howe confirmed his theory.
She watched the parade with two of her children while a third, Gabrielle, marched with her school.
"I want my children to remember their heritage," said the Ballina resident. "This is our history," Ms Howe. said.
"It is important that we understand what went before."