Coffs crowds will never forget

NINETY years after the guns fell silent, Coffs Harbour paused to remember.

There were just as many veterans as visitors to the cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremony yesterday, but the crowd was out-numbered by the ubiquitous red poppies pinned to lapels and adorning the memorial plaques.

Guest speaker and CEX Group president, David Doyle, told how the poppy came to symbolise Australia's war time, and he said the memorials, halls and churches found in towns across the country were places of great significance.

“Spare a thought for the men and women who built those memorials when you go through these towns, stop and read with pride the plaques that are there,” Mr Doyle said.

“I hope you remember that they didn't come cheaply.”

Coffs Harbour deputy mayor, Bill Palmer, remembers.

“I grew up in the second war, and I can remember all the people I waved goodbye to as a boy,” Cr Palmer said.

“I had relatives and a close friend who went off and didn't come back.

“Today I take a moment to remember them and the things they did for all of us.”

Coffs Harbour RSL sub-branch president, Bob Payne, said the ceremony was 'a big day' on the veterans' calendar.

Mr Payne said recent reports of RSLs cancelling Remembrance Day ceremonies due to a lack of numbers were expected.

“We won't let it die,” he said.

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