Ballina: Next generation honours military tradition
TUESDAY 4.10pm: THEY are our next generation of fighters who execute military tradition every Anzac Day in respect to those who laid down their lives in the First World War.
Not flinching a muscle, The TS Lismore Navy Cadets stood to attention around Ballina's Memorial Park cenotaph at yesterday's dawn and afternoon commemorations.
Months of training led Jessica Hobson, Geoffrey Tapping, Hayden Smith, Brandon Eyears, Jayden Webb and Lachlan Miller to be selected for the catafalque party.
It's no easy feat to secure a place in the proceedings as Tiffany Eyears revealed it takes plenty of practise and promotions within the cadets.
"They can't just start and stand up there. They work very hard to get there," Ms Eyears said.
Lachlan's mother Karen Miller, who is an ex-servicewoman, was proud to watch the hard work of her son and his fellow cadets pay off.
"Leading up to Anzac day, they've just been training so hard to perfect it and make sure they get it spot on," Ms Miller said.
"They are kids and yet they are so professional, it was just beautiful.
"And to see their faces afterwards when they got dismissed and they knew that they had done it so very well."
Ms Miller said to be part of the catafalque party at an Anzac Day dawn service is something military personnel strive to accomplish.
"As a service person, the dawn service is the service it's the one you feel most at and you remember the most from."
Throughout the day, Margie Smith and the mums were on-hand with water and a cool cloth to ensure the cadet's well-being in the heat.
TUESDAY 1pm: BALLINA'S Anzac Day march through the town centre was a first-time honour for one new emergency services recruit.
Donning the iconic orange uniform, Aaron Penn joined about a dozen SES volunteers in his first march with the service through River St.
Mr Penn watched on as he passed hundreds of onlookers packed along the main street cheering and waving high their Australian flags.
Scores of police, firies, surf life-saving representatives joined the Ballina SES unit during the symbolic procession to thank Australian and New Zealand soldiers for their service during the First World War.
Mr Penn said the SES and other emergency service organisations at the commemorations today were unified in paying tribute to the Anzacs.
The aged care worker said it's an entrenched tradition for the Ballina unit to honour our Anzacs through the march.
"Marching is basically supporting the RSL, the veterans and the serving soldiers," Mr Penn said.
"It's pretty much showing our appreciation for those who sacrificed their lives."
Mr Penn said his great-grandfather served in the World War I with the British Navy.
Today, he wore replicas of his grandfather's medals and his nana's medals.
Both served in the Second World War.
Since dawn this morning, Mr Penn was blown-away by the community's participation in commemorating the Great War.
"I was here in the morning and for the march, it's an awesome turn out."
Mr Penn also volunteers with the Ballina Hospital Auxillary and is looking to re-join the Rural Fire Service.
TUESDAY 9.15am: Ballina remembers the Anzacs
SOME wore war medals in honour of their fallen relatives, others held their children close as the Ballina community remembered our Anzacs.
Mayor David Wright was among the masses, including ex-serviceman, serving military personnel, families, school captains and community leaders, that gathered around the cenotaph at Memorial Park.
Behind the hundreds of residents paying respect on Anzac Day is a dedicated collective ensuring military tradition is upheld in honour of those who served in the first World War.
Ballina Sub Branch Ltd vice president, Darren Murnane is central to the effort coordinating remembrance ceremonies such as the Anzac Day dawn service.
This morning's service marked Mr Murnane's fifth ceremony as the parade commander.
Positioned behind the cenotaph, Mr Murnane is responsible for running the proceedings from ordering the congregation to face east to queuing for the wreaths to be laid.
"It's the same format but every year there's always some little nuance to getting the (ceremony) happening," Mr Murnane said.
School captains were part of the congregation that laid wreaths at the cenotaph as the Ballina Shire Concert Band and Ballina Christian Choir played moving instrumentals.
For Mr Murnane, signalling and listening to the sounding of the Last Post and The Ode pulls at his heart-strings every service.
"It always makes you feel quite proud for representing those who are no longer here," he said.
Proudly wearing his grandfather's Second World War medals and one of his own, Mr Murnane is heartened Ballina's dawn ceremony is attracting residents of all ages.
"The best part is seen that it's not just ex-service people we are seeing at 4.30 in the morning we've got young parents with kids," he said.
"It's a amazing to see such a respect shown by the public for what the day is, it's a day of remembrance."