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Sunday, May 26, 2024

March to the Cenotaph in Maldon

Despite the cold morning, with the looming threat of rain, both marchers and a sizable crowd gathered at the Cenotaph, spilling onto High Street to witness the approaching march from the north. Speculation arose among seasoned attendees: was this the largest Anzac Day crowd Maldon had ever seen? But who keeps count? The Maldon Brass Band led the march into the ceremony grounds.

Ward councillor Stephen Gardner opened the proceedings with a heartfelt Welcome to Country. Kevin Moschetti, RSL President, reflected on the unique significance of Maldon’s Anzac Hill. He highlighted how, unlike many other places in Australia where memorials replaced cemeteries due to the distance of war graves, Anzac Hill remained untouched by modernization projects, preserving its sanctity.

Pastor Gavin and Julie Alexander led the assembly in singing Abide With Me and reciting The Lord’s Prayer. A tribute was paid to Maldon-native Jessie Bowe, a World War II Army Nurse and Nursing Administrator, jointly presented by her niece Lesley Bowe and Sharon Telford. A brief concern arose as a light shower hinted at dampening the Anzac spirit, but the weather held, and the commemoration concluded beneath a clear sky. Bugler Daniel Clarke played customary pieces, and the national anthems of New Zealand and Australia were performed, reminding all of the shared history between Kiwis and Diggers.

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