Huge turnout for town's new dawn service on hill

The Clyde dawn service was held at  Lookout Point  early on Saturday. PHOTO: JACQUI VAN DAM
The Clyde dawn service was held at Lookout Point early on Saturday. PHOTO: JACQUI VAN DAM
More than 1000 men, women and children and their dogs attended a special Anzac service in Clyde early on Saturday morning.

They climbed Lookout Hill to honour the memory of those who served and those who lost their lives, and for the families of military personnel both past and present.

The service was organised by local resident Tim Cadogan as a prelude to the usual Anzac services at the Clyde War Memorial.

At 6.30am, people climbed the winding path with their torches and mobile phones, lighting the track through the trees from top to bottom.

As they marched, they listened to recollections of soldiers played over loudspeakers to remind everyone of the solemn occasion.

A lone piper greeted the walkers as they amassed at the lookout above the town, ready for the dawn service to begin. As the sun rose over Clyde, Lesley Taylor read from her grandfather's diary, saying it was a significant day for all New Zealanders.

Mr Cadogan talked about the men from the Clyde area who went to Gallipoli to fight.

Roxburgh Pioneer Generation Band member Christine Wright played the Last Post, while her daughter, Sarah Wright, played Reveille. Mr Cadogan said the turnout was ''inspirational'' and everything from the sunrise to the weather had fallen into place ''magically''.

Most people walked up the hill; the others took one of the organised buses to the top. Police estimate 1000 to 1500 people attended, more than Clyde's population of about 920. Mr Cadogan said he had received positive feedback about the event.

Walking up the hill, everyone had got a glimpse of what it might have been like for New Zealand and Australian soldiers at Anzac Cove. ''That was quite special.''

by  Liam Cavanagh

liam.cavanagh@odt.co.nz

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