Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fullhouse at Bomana for ANZAC Day service

Hundreds of people, mainly Australian trekkers, attended the traditional emotional ANZAC Day Dawn Service today at the Bomana War Cemetery outside Port Moresby.

People started arriving at Bomana as early as 4am for the ceremony and lit candles to see them through to the first rays of sunlight.

This year, unlike previous years, there were no Australian veterans; however, the number of people was up from last year and previous years.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Governor General Sir Paulias Matane, Australian High commissioner Ian Kemish, New Zealand High Commissioner Niels Holm, British High Commissioner David Dunn, PNG Defence Force Commander Brig Gen Francis Agwi as well as military officers from the four countries.

The bands of the Royal PNG Constabulary and Correctional Services were out in force this morning at Bomana.

 Ecumenical services were celebrated by the Salvation Army chaplain.

Students of Ela Murray International School and Port Moresby International School sang Abide with Me while Elaine Kila, holder of the Butch Bisset Memorial Scholarship for Higher Education, read the poem A Tribute To ANZAC Day. 

“Fathers, sons and brothers, together they fought and died,” she recited.

“That we may live in peace while at home their mothers cried.

“When that final bugle calls them to cross the great divide.

“Their comrades will be waiting when they reach the other side.”

The Requiem was read by Col Mark Sheperd, head of Australian Defence staff in PNG while Bible readings were done by Mr Holm and Lt Col Gordon Milward, New Zealand Defence attaché.

Mr Kemish gave the official address.

Sir Paulias lead the wreath laying while The Ode was read by Brig Gen Agwi and Port Moresby Returned Services League president Joseph Fillipi.

The hundreds at Bomana later thronged to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby for the traditional Gunfire Breakfast.

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