More than 200 commemorative crosses were placed in Freedom Park for Anzac Day services last year.
More than 200 commemorative crosses were placed in Freedom Park for Anzac Day services last year. Alistair Brightman

Honour a loved one with a personal message on Anzac Day

FRASER Coast residents were offered the chance to add their own personal touch to Anzac Day services in Freedom Park last year, and the response was overwhelming.

255 people took the opportunity to buy a $2 cross for the day from the RSL Women's Auxiliary Hervey Bay group, which had a red poppy and a message card attached so people could write the name of a veteran and a personal brief message.

With 500 crosses available to be positioned in Freedom Park this year, Auxiliary president Barbara Campbell is hoping the public will once again take advantage of this unique way to offer up a message of hope and thanks to those who have served their country.

"The response was surprising ... we didn't expect people to take it on board as much as they did but it seemed it was an opportunity that a lot of people were waiting for," Mrs Campbell said.

"The dawn service and the later main service are really wonderful community events that everyone participates in, and we do this as a community.

"A lot of people have recollections of family members and stories that have been passed down through the family, of great uncles and grand fathers who went off to war, particularly the first and second world wars, and to know that there's a little cross sitting in the ground with grandad's name on it just seems to mean a lot to people."

Mrs Campbell said proceeds made from the sale of the crosses would also assist local community organisations. Not-for-profit groups like the military cadet units, rural fire brigades, Comfort Kitchen, Riding for the Disabled and the wig library have been on the receiving end of generous donations from the Auxiliary through the years.

"At meetings twice a year we decide which local organisations will receive our donations," Mrs Campbell said.

Anyone who would like to buy a cross for the day can head to the Hervey Bay RSL today (Thursday, April 20), tomorrow and Saturday, from 10am to 3pm, where the ladies will have a manned table set up in the reception area.

The Auxiliary will position the crosses below the flagpole in Freedom Park on the evening of April 24 and collect them after the Anzac Day services.

FIND OUT MORE

  • The auxiliary has been running for over 85 years.
  • The group of about 20 volunteers assists the Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch at Anzac Day services by handing out flags, poppies and programs, and helps sell memorabilia for Legacy Badge Week and Anzac Day.
  • The auxiliary meets at the RSL on the first Tuesday of the month at 10.30am.
  • The auxiliary hosts regular bus trips and outings. New members are always welcome.
  • Phone Mrs Campbell on 4128 9110 or Joan Hawkes on 4125 4049.


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