CROWD numbers exceeded expectations at Rosedale RSL’s first ever dawn service.
The new event attracted about 300 people, including many young families, after the town’s RSL was reinstated late last year.
“I got such comments as ‘nobody is going to turn up’ and I said ‘well, we’re having it anyway’,” Rosedale RSL president and war veteran Bob Newton said.
Mr Newton believed younger community members were paving the way to take over the celebrations in years to come.
“It’s a tradition that was forged, they say Australia became a nation because of Gallipoli, they stood up and were counted,” Mr Newton said.
“People don’t go charging down the road in the face of machine gun bullets because they want to be a hero, it’s because it’s their job, just like the garbage man has his job.”
Former army reserve Jim Field was surprised at the show of support.
“It was amazing, they just kept coming,” Mr Field said.
“It just shows there is a bit more to life than just going to work and coming home again, we have a history and a past and this is the time to express those feelings.
“Every city or town should express it’s own feeling, it’s own soul and that’s what it is.”