Three decades of marching for ex-Navy officer
FOR more than seven years, Peter McDermott has marched in every Anzac Day service in Hervey Bay.
The former warrant officer in the Australian Navy, who served between 1966 and 1986, was one of hundreds participating in the dawn service march through Hervey Bay's streets on Wednesday.
It marks more than 30 years of marching in Anzac Day commemorations for Mr McDermott since he returned from service in 1967.
"It's a thrill to see how much the commemorations have grown in the recent years," Mr McDermott said.
"You can tell by the number of young people from school and community groups involved.
"It's important because it keeps the tradition going on."
During his 20-year career in specialised communications with the Navy, Mr McDermott served on ships including the HMAS Melbourne, Destroyer escorts HMAS Parramatta and Swan and the oceanographic research ship HMAS Diamantina.
He served in the Far East Strategic Reserve in 1967 alongside British and New Zealand armed forces.
The forces were deployed as a deterrent to communist aggression in South East Asia.
"We were there showing the flag and keeping the Indonesians at bay," Mr McDermott said.
"It was all navy, but there were air force and army units stationed up in the far east as well."
Mr McDermott's service gave him a deeper appreciation for returned servicemen and the Anzac Day services.
"It's a very important part of my life," he said.