The dawn service at Coffs Harbour Cenotapth yesterday.
The dawn service at Coffs Harbour Cenotapth yesterday. Trevor Veale

Filled with pride on Anzac Day

ANZAC Day always makes Bob Payne’s chest swell with pride.

The Coffs Harbour RSL sub-branch president was thrilled with the massive turnouts at the city’s two Anzac Day Services yesterday.

He estimated about 4500 people turned out for the dawn service and another 6500 converged on the cenotaph precinct for the main service.

“I am overwhelmed with the public support. The support of schools is fantastic as is the different ex-service organisations and other community groups,” Mr Payne said.

“It gets bigger every year. In the last four years the attendance has nearly quadrupled.”

Mr Payne said the increased public support was mirrored by the increased national pride shown by Australians.

“Also, you have all these tours to our battlefields and the younger generations are getting involved,” he said.

“I take my hat off to the Coffs Harbour RSL sub-branch. We are highly involved with school students.

“They are supportive of our sub-branch and we have a great relationship with headmasters.

“You only have to look at our parade – it would be the best on the coast.”

With the official commemorations over, Bob was keen to catch-up with his mates at the Coffs C.ex over a few beers and two-up.

He served in Vietnam in 1971 during the second tour of 3 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment).

He was awarded the Military Medal at the Battle of Long Khan on June 6 of that year during Operation Overlord.

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