Lest we forget: Crowds to flock back to Anzac services across state

The nation’s largest regional Anzac Day Dawn Service is expected to attract as many as 20,000 people to Elephant Rock on Currumbin Beach on Monday, as services across the state plan for major crowds after the events were shut down for two years.

Apr 19, 2022, updated Apr 19, 2022
The Anzac Day dawn service at Currumbin can attract about 20,000 people. Photo: ABC licensed

The Anzac Day dawn service at Currumbin can attract about 20,000 people. Photo: ABC licensed

The state-wide return of the tributes to diggers past and present is also expected to include a comprehensive fly-past across the south-east from Tweed Heads to Noosa by two historic aircraft – a MkXVI Spitfire and P51 Mustang.

Aircraft operators Fighter Pilot Adventure Flights, based at Archerfield, are working with RSL sub-branches throughout the region to conduct the flights as a mark of respect and gratitude to those who have served and who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The public commemoration at Currumbin is expected to attract around 20,000 people for the service described as “being all things to all people”, including a formal ceremony as the sun rises over the beachfront, fly past march, and surf boat burial at sea.

Currumbin Palm Beach RSL sub-branch deputy president Peter Thorpe said dawn service would begin at 5:00am, with crowds expected to gather from 3:30am along the surf beach for the commemoration of the ANZAC battle on the shore and cliffs of Gallipoli.

The fly past at Currumbin is expected at 6:03am.

“The benefit of having it at Elephant Rock and its history is that we can be all things to all people while bringing with it the respect which surrounds the dawn service,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe said there was a sense of excitement around the return of the live service after two pandemic-struck years, but people who remained uncomfortable with large crowds could watch the livestream on social media channels or broadcast by Channel 7 Sunrise.

Thorpe said, in a first for the Gold Coast, an F18 Super Hornet was also planned to fly up Currumbin Creek at an altitude of between 500 and 1000 feet, passing the Currumbin RSL mid-morning service at 11:11am.


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