Ellenbrook families embrace Anzac Day dawn service


More than 3500 people attended the |Ellenbrook RSL’s dawn service.
More than 3500 people attended the |Ellenbrook RSL’s dawn service.

THE Ellenbrook RSL’s Anzac Day dawn service attracted record high numbers at its new home.

More than 3500 people woke up before the sun on Monday to remember the fallen Anzacs at the Ellenbrook District Open Space.

“It was a brilliant success,” Ellenbrook RSL secretary Dr Neil MacNeill said.

“We had a really high attendance, mainly of families.

“Many parents took really young kids, which was really good to see.”

RSL sub-branch president Stephen O’Neil delivered a memorial speech that resonated with most.

“He spoke about the casualties of World War I,” Dr MacNeill said.

“And how barely a family wasn’t affected by this dreadful carnage.”

The MC for the service was City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright, also a member of the RSL, and the Swan Valley Choir provided songs prior to the 6am service.

“We had local schools in the area join in the service as well,” Dr MacNeill said.

“Students from Swan Valley Community School delivered readings and poems, while the Ellenbrook Secondary College band played music and sang.”

The New Zealand national anthem was sung in Maori by local teenage performer Hannah Fooks, followed by the Australian national anthem.

The Air Force performed a fly-past over the service at 500ft (152m).

“We’ve never done that before,” Dr MacNeill said.

“It sort of gives a sense of gravitas to the proceedings, and shows it’s not only about history, but the present and those serving now.

“We are in the process of getting feedback to see what the feelings about the service were. That will guide future decisions. If the decision is made to stay, we will start to look at how we will develop the site with the City of Swan.”