Anzac day in Darwin

Written by on 23/04/2019


DARWIN’S annual Anzac Day commemorations will take place without a dedicated RSL Club for the first time this year after the veterans’ clubhouse was destroyed by fire last June.

The fire followed the closure of the Darwin North RSL and came six months before the Palmerston club lost its dedicated social space with the closure of the The Hub in January.

But Darwin RSL president Stephen Gloster said the fire would not impact the day’s events with the Dawn Service and Anzac Day march to go ahead as normal.

The traditional gunfire breakfast will be held at the Hotel Darwin, which has also been granted a two-up licence along with the Deck Bar.

Mr Gloster said he still expected thousands of Darwinites to turn out to show their support in what had increasingly become a “family day” in recent years.

“You’ll see at the Dawn Service the number of families that turn out is quite incredible,” he said.

“When you walk along the street there are just kids, families, all the way along, it’s really, really good, for the size of the town it’s a wonderful event.” Navy veteran Don Milford said this year would mark his 15th Dawn Service since retiring from his three-decade career in Darwin and the turnouts had only been growing during that time.

“It’s wonderful and to see the children is absolutely amazing,” he said.

“Seeing children come up to you now and put their hand out and shake your hand and say ‘Thank you for your service’ — never happened when I was in the navy but now the kids have more respect for the veterans.”

The gunfire breakfast is on at 5am at the Hotel Darwin with the Dawn Service due to start at 6am and the march from 9am at the corner of Knuckey St and The Esplanade.

Both the Hotel Darwin and Deck Bar will be licenced for early trading from 7am and a church service at the cathedral is scheduled for 7.30am.

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