Sale Dawn Service – Anzac Day 2024

Wreaths laid at the Sale Cenotaph in remembrance.

Ben McArthur

SALE’S 6am dawn service is one of the town’s biggest community events, with thousands of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the Sale Cenotaph.

People started arriving by 5.15am, and about 20 minutes later, the area outside the memorial was full.

To accommodate the extra people, the event was filmed by Tim Munckton and projected onto a big screen.

“I’ve had an interest in this (film) since back in primary school, which has just been developing, and it is good to come along and have an opportunity to use my interest,” he said.

The ceremony opened with a prayer by RAAF Chaplain, Tim Mannix.

“All of Australia gratefully remembers the courage and their sacrifice. They (the ANZACs) had the grace to live in a spirit of justice, generosity and peace,” he said.

Then came a speech by Kylie Willmont, the Sale RSL President and Personnel Capability Officer for the Royal Australian Air Force, who has nearly 40 years of service.

Ms Willmont said Anzac Day is about more than just the soldiers who died in war; it serves to remember all Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died during wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

“Anzac Day is a big moving beast and there’s a lot of people who come every year to watch it happen and even though they all know what will happen, there’s always younger people who want to engage and wear their family medals,” she said.

“It’s important to remember those who came before us and remember our national history and those who had to die young.

“The day encompasses everyone who has served and is about remembering that ANZAC spirit and not letting it die.”

In attendance were many veterans, displaying medals, such as veteran Peter Lend, who served in Vietnam on a 12-month tour in 1968.

“Australia at that time was not up to scratch, and a lot of people lost their lives, not just because of what happened in Vietnam but the rejection that they felt when they got back, even by the politicians,” he said.

“How they (society) treated them (veterans) was not good. My belief is if you do something wrong in life, you have to accept the responsibility for it no matter what, and if you can’t do that, then don’t worry about being there.”

After the dawn service, the War Cemetery Memorial began at 9am, followed by the day’s main event at 10.30am, the traditional Anzac Day Parade made its way down Raymond Street.

The MC was Sale RSL Vice President Ross Jackson, who was joined by Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester and a didgeridoo performance.

Mr Chester said the region has a rich military history.

“Anzac Day is not about glorifying war or conflict, quite the opposite,” Mr Chester said.

“It’s a chance to pay our respects to the 102,000 people who have been killed wearing our nation’s uniform and protecting the freedoms we all enjoy today.

“At the same time, we remember those who have been injured physically or mentally, the families who supported them, and the Australian Defence Force personnel who continue to serve today.”

More than 40 groups and organisations laid a wreath upon the foot of the Sale Cenotaph. One of those laying a wreath was Craig Guthrie, who laid a Kokoda wreath.

“I think that if it weren’t for our Australian men and women heroes and their sacrifices, we wouldn’t be living in a free country today,” he said.

“It’s important to learn and remember about our country’s history and what our soldiers went through and still go through.”

Following the lunch, Two-Up games took place at Sale RSL, with proceeds going to the ANZAC appeal.

Mr Munckton has been filming the Dawn service for the last two years.

Sale Dawn Service. Photos: Ben McArthur

Another strong crowd came for this year’s Anzac Day service in Sale.

There was no hope of getting through the crowd at the Sale Dawn service

Sale’s Salvation Army Corps Officer, Min-Hwan Oh laid a wreath.

The Sale City Band attended the marches in both Sale and Stratford.

Mr Mannix led four prayers in total for the two dawn services.

The ones that led the Sale parade was the former Veterans.

Cadets and military attended the second ceremony.

Mr Lend said he was proud to have served his country.

The region’s residents lined up along Raymond St. Photos: Ben McArthur.

Ms Willington from the projector screen at the morning service

It is likely that even more marched in the parade than those who watched.