Crowd continues to swell following 100th anniversary
IT WAS only when a child asked him the question that he really thought about it for the first time.
Toogoolawah RSL Sub Branch president Doug Cook had been talking to a class of students about the history of Anzac Day, when a student raised his hand to ask a question.
"He asked what Anzac Day meant to me,” Mr Cook said.
"And I realised I'd never thought about it.
"I used to watch it on TV because I loved brass band music and one day I watched it in Caboolture because it was on.” It was when he became involved - by chance - with the local RSL, after moving to Toogoolawah, that Anzac Day really appeared on Mr Cook's radar.
To Mr Cook, the day was significant, not only because of his past as a serviceman.
He said he noticed the names on the graves.
"You go down to the memorial and you see all the names of the people who have died in the various wars,” he said.
"Even though I don't know them individually, you see family names and all that and it brings it all a bit closer to home.”
Mr Cook said that, out of the 15 years he'd been involved with the RSL, he noticed one major change in 2015.
"When we had the 100th anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli, there was a lot of interest right through Australia,” he said.
"But since that anniversary in 2015, the interest level has maintained a very high level.”
The Toogoolawah Dawn Service would normally attract between 20 and 30 people but currently averages 150.
"And for the main service, which used to get maybe 100, we're now averaging over 250.
"That's for a little town of 1200 people,” he said.
"And this has maintained for the last four years.”
Mr Cook said the centenary brought Anzac Day to the attention of people who normally wouldn't think about it.
"People who maybe sat at home and watched it on TV were prepared to come out in the dark for the dawn service,” he said.
Services around Somerset:
APRIL 25 marks Anzac Day, with Somerset communities pausing to reflect on its history.
There are plenty of Services you can attend around the Somerset area, for you to mark the occasion.
A Lowood service is scheduled to take place before dawn with attendees asked to assemble at Clock Park on Pearce Street for a 4.25am start.
At Lowood State School another service will be held from 11am.
Toogoolawah and Esk:
Toogoolawah and Esk are both hosting 5am Dawn Services in addition to services to take place in the late morning.
In Esk a 5am and 11am services will take place at the Esk Memorial Park, with a 10.40 march from the RSL to Esk Memorial Park.
In Toogoolawah, 5am Dan Service is followed by a 10am march starting from McConnel Park.
At 5.15am, Kilcoy's service will commence, with the main parade to take place from 10.30am from the Kilcoy RSL.
In Fernvale, a march will take place from the Fernvale Uniting Church on the corner of Clive Street.
Getting started at 8.15, the march will end with a 8.30am service at the Fernvale Memorial Park.
A service in Coominya will take place, beginning at the corner of Cornhill and Main Street and ending at Railway St.
Attendees are asked to assemble by 9am for a 9.15am start. For more information, contact Lloyd Hill 0488169162.
A ceremony will be held at Watts Bridge at 10am, at the Watt Bridge Memorial Airfield in Cressbrook.