This must surely have been the most successful and highly attended dawn service ever for the Coolum/ Peregian community. Parking was in short supply after 04:30, and the community support was so great that there were people lining both sides of the roadway and thousands around the cenotaph.
What was particularly memorable was the participation by the local kids in the choir, the cadets, the youth groups, and in the crowd. The president of the local RSL, Bill Powell, hosted a thoughtful and meaningful service, and continued his tradition of building a strong bridge of understanding and respect between the generations.
At 06:30, with the dawn service over, the crowd moved to Coolum Beach to see a tribute to the Gallipoli landing performed by the Surf Club. Three surf boats, the club girls and boys, and a third the sister boat to that sent to the service at Gallipoli, braved the strong surf to reenact the landing, and 3 Quota poppies from each boat were carried ashore then pinned ceremoniously to a life reel in front of the club.
A minute’s silence was observed with all in attendance facing out to sea, and the surf crews raising their oars in salute. It was very memorable and worthwhile for all involved.