Bordertown to welcome back Anzac Day dawn service

HONOUR: Ken McInerney, with Terry Staude at the Bordertown Dawn Service in 2018, encourages the public to be part of the 2021 gathering. Photo: Archive
HONOUR: Ken McInerney, with Terry Staude at the Bordertown Dawn Service in 2018, encourages the public to be part of the 2021 gathering. Photo: Archive

A healthy crowd is envisaged for this year's Anzac Day dawn service in Bordertown to be hosted at the RSL sub branch cenotaph.

The optimism is expressed by passionate RSL president Ken McInerney who said a weekend service should result in a good crowd.

"We will be having a live dawn service starting at 6.30am which is open to all members and the public," he told Border Chronicle.

It's a stark contrast to last year's nationwide dawn services which fell victim to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr Mcinerney said while the public was forced into lockdown, with the help of Bordertown Pastor Murray, their normal service was recorded and a limited number attended the service with wreaths also laid.

"Everyone was urged to put a candle at the end of their driveway. We were exceptionally pleased with the support we got from the public," Mr McInerney said.

A year on and with state rules easing, the town can once again join to honour the fallen soldiers, with the only requirement of social distancing to be observed.

Pastor Murray will once again officiate the service with a recording of the Last Post leaving its valuable mark.

"We all really appreciate his services."

We will be having a live dawn service starting at 6.30am which is open to all members and the public.

bordertown RSL sub branch president Ken McInerney

Wreaths will be encouraged by individuals and groups to be laid at the foot of the cenotaph.

The community is also urged to rug up.

"We have been experiencing cold mornings yet the days have been turning out clear so we keep our fingers crossed," he said.

Mr McInerney said the traditional coffee and toast, organised and served up by the scout and guides after the service, will be on hold for another year, until COVID-19 restrictions further relax.

Instead, RSL members and the public can further commemorate the day by joining for breakfast at the Bordertown Hotel, thanks to manager Don Duka and his staff.

"Bordertown Hotel have been generous with their support, we appreciate their service," Mr McInerney said.

"The only requirement is the hotel manager would like the public to book ahead to assist with catering and staff ... everyone is welcome."

Mr McInerney, who served for 30 years in the Army Reserve Service, joined the local sub branch about eight years ago.

"I just felt when I got here the sub branch was perhaps struggling a little bit with membership so I joined.

"But I think other sub branches are in the boat."

His passion for the sub branch extends to further conducting a special Anzac Day service at the hospital at 10am, designed for those who cannot attend the dawn service.

His deputy will also attend the Bordertown Bowling Club for another service at noon.

"We always honour the day and conduct a service before bowlers begin play," he said.

"It's a full on day but rewarding," he added.

The Bordertown RSL sub branch is located at Cannawigara Road.