This year, I was up at 4:30 am and dawn is at 6:10am. However, it was still not early enough to find a close parking spot for the Anzac Day dawn service at the sea front.
Next time I will try to leave at 4:45 am instead of 5:15am. At least I was not alone in trying to find a parking spot. Every shopping centre and council car park and many side streets were totally full. Main roads and main streets were also full.
The commentator said that it was the largest gathering he had seen at Redcliffe. It seemed twice as large as last year. There were tents set up for the main speakers and activities. The coast guard had a boat for laying wreaths in the water by service group representatives. Four wreaths were put in the water all together.
I missed the march from the top of Redcliffe Parade. The jetty had a few people, the beach and rocks at the fore shore were filled with people. Dogs on leashes came in all shapes and sized. There were two SES people in bright orange emergency uniforms as well.
The bugler player the Last Post, and later the Reveille. Someone sang a song and poems were read. One poet was the grandson of a soldier. They spoke of North Korea and Vietnam. There wasn’t as much talk about Gallipoli as last year.
I took my smart phone and could not shut off the flash. The pictures were still mainly dark with a few street lights. Others had cameras and videos as well. They posed on the bigger rocks by the beach or just on the grassy parklands.
Everyone was quiet, sombre and respectful. An aboriginal lady was saying to her husband, “At least they look after our land”, as I turned to walk back. A Muscovy duck by the city pond seemed to think I was going to throw breadcrumbs. He came towards me waggling his duck tail. I took pictures. There was a beautiful, large, red waterlily. It took some pictures of that as well.
Rather than face the traffic as everyone left, I had turned to go back home a bit earlier than most people. It was a quiet drive home. When I returned, the news was on with other Anzac Day celebration stories. The radio in the car had some more reports from other places, including Gallipoli.
Then Max started to bark. He missed his morning walk. I had something to eat and a cup of coffee while checking my e-mails. We went for walk so he could roll in the dewy grass. How he loves that. There were lots of other people jogging and out with their dogs. The cyclists who usually chatter at 4:30am as they cycle past our house were out late, just like me.
Next time, I will set my alarm earlier. I don’t mind being out before dawn. There are lots of other people out then and I have a torch. Max likes it whether we are out in the early morning light or any other time. As long as he has his walk, he is a happy puppy!