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Anzac spirit surviving and thriving in region

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Emily Ballantyne with Ries Chattallon
Camera IconEmily Ballantyne with Ries Chattallon

Fog blanketed Narrogin and cars were banked all the way along Williams Road and Fortune Street as hundreds gathered at Memorial park for Narrogin’s 100th Anzac Day dawn service.

More than 200 people braved the cold last Thursday morning, proving the Anzac spirit was not only surviving but thriving in the region.

After dawn a Gunfire Breakfast at Lesser Hall was hosted by the Shire of Narrogin, before an even bigger crowd gathered at Memorial Park and down Egerton Street for the morning service and Anzac Day parade.

Narrogin Sub-Branch RSL president Ries Chattillon thanked the community for their support of the annual commemoration.

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“Over the years I have conducted the services here, they’ve always been well attended,” he said.

“There’s forever still interest for dawn services. This morning was amazing.

“Someone said to me there were 200 people plus, which for a community this size I think is brilliant.

“It shows that the Anzac spirit is still there in the community and hopefully it will continue.”

Wreaths were laid by dozens of community groups in honour of Australian servicemen and women, including representatives from each of Narrogin’s five schools.

“As I’ve said before, trying to get the younger generations involved they start to realise what the event is about, I’d like to continue that practice until I cannot continue anymore,” Mr Chattillon said.

Shire of Narrogin president Leigh Ballard echoed Mr Chattillon’s message.

“On behalf of the Shire I’m grateful and thankful to the community for the good turn-out this morning for the dawn service. We had a couple of hundred people there, then we had 50 to 60 people at the Gunfire Breakfast this morning,” Mr Ballard said.

“We’re very grateful for the community support for such an important event.”

On Saturday, April 21, the Highbury District Community Council held its annual Anzac Commemoration Service.

The event has seen considerable growth since its inception in 2005, when local veteran, the late Mr Charlie Searle advocated the former Shire of Narrogin for an Anzac memorial to be constructed in the grounds of the Highbury Hall.

More than 90 people attended the service and morning tea, where 18 wreaths were laid.

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