Magnetic Island North Queensland
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April 26th 2009
ANZAC Day on Magnetic Island

Ghostly figures marching in the dawn light Nearly 1000 people were estimated to have attended the ANZAC Day Dawn Service held at Alma Bay on Saturday morning.

The scrape of boot leather and the almost-festive jingle of medals in the pre-dawn darkness signals yet another dawn service heading down the lovely lane that is Hayles Avenue towards Magnetic's Alma Bay.

Nearly 1000 people in and out of uniform attended the ceremony that finds Islanders and visitors from all walks of life waking very early to attend.

The service, this year, was fittingly poignant and, the address by Lieutenant Colonel Likeman, who drew links of service between those who gave their lives for their country on battlefields and those today such as in the SES or fire brigade who sometimes risk their lives for the community, refreshed for our times, just what the out-of-fashion word, "duty," can mean.

As light seeped into the sky the ceremony in which wreaths were laid at the small stone memorial by local organisation's representatives and individuals, the large numbers in attendance became visible.

Following the lead of those in uniform the procession returned, with family, friends and curious onlookers to the RSL Hall and grounds where the traditional breakfast was served in a flurry of community participation.

MI RSL President, Geoff barlow told Magnetic Times, "I must admit that the Townsville City Council Parks staff did a particularly good job in preparing Alma Bay (picnic area) for ANZAC Day."

The failure of the discreet lighting beneath the flagpole was, Geoff Barlow thought, due to a short curcuit as the lighting was working well before the ceremony started.

Magnetic Times recorded the morning with the following photo essay.

Story & photos: George Hirst

For captions and e-postcard options double click on any image

Story & photos: George Hirst

All photos displayed above are available as high resolution prints. Email

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

ANZAC Day on Magnetic Island
Sylvia Hayes
April 27th 2009
Great photography George! You really captured the flavour of the occasion. Many thanks.
mark tull
April 27th 2009
A magic dawn on a special day. What a Great Joy it is to see so many that I know, working so hard to ensure the Island continues it great tradition of probably the best dawn service on the East Coast. To see pictures of my mates like Col, Murray and Viv, some of the cadets and of course the "Local Identities" such as Royce and Co, fills my heart with both happiness that it has not changed, and sadness, that I could not be there. Onya Maggie. Mark Tull Senior Vice President Southport RSL (Parade Commander and Ringmaster for 5 bloody hours again at Two Up)
Steve Lane
May 4th 2009
Just wandering through the photos of Australia's most beautiful dawn service. The shots are simply great, and the number of people present stands testament to the respect and honour afforded by Magnetic Is. locals each year. Great to see everybody again. And that photograph of the soldier in the slouch hat, tossing the Two-Up coins with the onlookers gaze following the coins travel is the most poignant symbol of ANZAC day that I have

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