Mick and I usually attend the Dawn Service in Bathurst on Anzac Day.
However, this morning we attended the Dawn Gathering in a paddock at O’Connell. There was quite a sizable number of locals up nice and early.
O’Connell has only been having a gathering for the past few years. The momentum to start was the efforts of the local community to save the Memorial Avenue of Trees.
They line the main road from Bathurst to Oberon through the village and there was a big push a few years ago to have them removed to widen the road. Due to the locals’ efforts this did not happen and the trees have been saved.
Back to this morning.
We all met around a flagpole. In true country style, it consists of a long stick with an old electrical insulator on top. It is fully functional to raise and lower the flag.
Around the flagpole was a semicircle of banners, each with the surname of a local family who had someone serve in WW1. Like all communities, not all returned. Many of the names are still familiar in the district.
It was a lovely way to commemorate the significant events of 99 years ago.
It was also a special day for me, as for the first time I opened the little box that came to me from Dad.
I wore his miniature medals with pride.