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With honour we remember

THE honour guard will return to Blackboy Hill Commemoration Site this Anzac Day eve and morning after a two year hiatus.

Bilgoman District and Midland scout groups have been overseeing the overnight vigil at the memorial for more than 30 years, and other scout groups for another 40 years before that.

Group assistant district commissioner Patrice Madlener said the scouts, aged between five and 26, hold a constant watch over the site in 30-minute shifts from sunset on April 24 to dawn on April 25.

“For a lot of them they had great grandfathers or great-great grandfathers in the war and it’s their way of honouring our servicemen,” she said.

“They have an ‘our service our heritage’ badge and one of the ways they earn it is to do two Anzac events.

“It means a great deal to them.”

Ms Madlener’s own grandfather was injured in Gallipoli serving with the New Zealand Army, going on to later fight at the Somme.

“It’s a special day to me and it’s my way of honouring my grandfather and his brothers,” she said.

“It’s a tradition we need to keep going and we can only do that by including the young ones of today to keep going tomorrow.”

Pre-COVID, about 150 scouts took part each year, with up to 300 during the Anzac centenary.

Bellevue RSL sub-branch president and veteran Scott Rogers said while the open-air sunset and dawn services and march would go ahead with uncapped numbers, the gunfire breakfast will not be held this year and the 12.15pm service at the sub-branch would be held in reduced capacity.

“As a veteran myself, the past two years was tough because the whole purpose of Anzac Day is not the public participation but the ability to catch up with your mates, some who you don’t get to see at any other time of the year,” he said.

“The driveway services have been beautiful, but this year we want to have that opportunity again to be with our mates.”

The sunset service at Blackboy Hill on April 24 will commence at 5.30pm and the dawn service on April 25 at 6.15am with wreath laying welcome.

The march from Helen Street to the RSL will start at 12.15pm followed by a service for Bellevue RSL members, serving and ex-serving personnel.

By Claire Ottaviano

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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