City turns out for Anzac Day march
RON Porto’s heart swells as he surveys the crowd at Anzac Day every year.
“I think it’s magic. I think it’s lovely,” the Korean War veteran said shortly before beginning yesterday’s Rockhampton march from the corner of Alma and Archer Sts and ending at the Riverside Park.
Hundreds of people lined the street and clapped as a multitude of school, veteran and emergency service groups marched past.
Mr Porto said the Korean War (1950 – 1953) was known as “the forgotten war”, but yesterday its legacy was very visible to those who came to pay tribute to servicemen, past and present.
Ted “Curly” Schunemann, who served with the 3rd Battalion in Korea from 1951 to 1952, said what he remembered most was the enemy artillery.
“They were always there (firing shells) day or night,” he explained.
Mr Schunemann said his mind was set on sombre reflection on Anzac Day.
“I remember all my mates. That’s the main thing,” he said.
“Not only the ones that were lost (in Korea), but the ones that have died since.”
Mr Schunemann, who has attended numerous services around the state including Monto, Cairns and Thangool, said the crowds on Anzac Day seemed to grow every year.
The Korean Veterans Association North Queensland veteran said: “Sadly I attend more funerals than anything else these days.”
The parade was led by veterans in Jeeps including Hubert Hoffman who fought in New Guinea and Bougainville in World War II.
Mr Hoffman said the crowd was “far down” on previous years.
Anzac Day Committee chair and Deputy Mayor Cr Rose Swadling said the crowd was “down slightly” on last year, but added that the service was a “resounding success” considering a number of families had left town over the Easter break.
Cr Swadling read out four “resolutions” to the crowd at the Riverside Park before Graham Ivers, of the Salvation Army Band, played The Last Post and Lament, which were followed by two minutes of silence.
Major Edward Mosby, of the Royal Queensland Regiment, told veterans that “we continue to draw inspiration from your commitment and sacrifice”.
“We salute the Anzacs....we also take the opportunity to reinvigorate our national spirit.”