BIG SHOWING: The community turned out in force for the Stanthorpe Dawn Service on Anzac Day 2017.
BIG SHOWING: The community turned out in force for the Stanthorpe Dawn Service on Anzac Day 2017. Liana Turner

Strong turnout to Stanthorpe's dawn service

MIST surrounded Stanthorpe as the community gathered to mark Anzac Day in this morning's dawn service.

Stanthorpe RSL president Cyril Charlwood said it was great to see hundreds of people pack into Weeroona Park to pay their respects.

"Each year it gets better and it's getting bigger every year,” Mr Charlwood said.

"It's bigger than last year, it was really packed.”

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud spent his first dawn service since being elected in Stanthorpe.

Mr Littleproud said Anzac Day was important to always honour those who have made sacrifices in times of conflict.

The first light creeps in on the Stanthorpe Dawn Service on Anzac Day 2017.
The first light creeps in on the Stanthorpe Dawn Service on Anzac Day 2017. Liana Turner

"We as Australian citizens (must) honour... these great men and women, to ensure we don't just do it on one day of the year but we uphold those values every day of the year,” Mr Littleproud said.

"Doing that will only give true honour to those great men and women who were prepared to sacrifice so much for each and every one of us.

"To those families here today and to those veterans marching today, all I can say from a grateful nation is thank you and lest we forget.”

State member for the Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, during what will likely be his last Anzac Day as MP, highlighted the disparity between the conditions of Stanthorpe's cool autumn morning with the conditions faced in war.

"We're probably as far away as you can be from the reality of that fateful landing at Gallipoli 102 years ago,” Mr Springborg said.

"Over the last three decades I've been extremely privileged to stand amongst many thousands of Granite Belt residents and visitors who have gathered in this very place.

"It's meant for the the same that it's meant for you and that is an opportunity to be able to look deep into who I am as an Australian, the sacrifice and contribution of my own family members who have served and who have died in the theatres of conflict throughout the world.

"If Anzac Day does not define our national character I don't think there's any doubt it's helped frame our national character.”

Southern Downs councillor Cameron Gow welcomed the strong crowd at the dawn service.

"It's an absolute pleasure to see how many people came out here in Stanthorpe,” Cr Gow said.

"It's a credit to you all.

"It's appropriate we bow our heads... and remember those sacrifices but also enjoy the freedoms and the gifts that were so hard earned that we should pay tribute to them.”

Stanthorpe's Anzac Day Street Parade will take place from 10.30am, starting on the corner of Maryland and Folkestone Sts.

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