The 9am Anzac Day March in Coffs Harbour
The 9am Anzac Day March in Coffs Harbour Robin Wright

Coffs Harbour marks Anzac Day

BRILLIANT sunshine bathed a huge crowd at Coffs Harbour's Anzac Day Service.

A flypast by a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, which is the world's most widely used military helicopter, signalled the beginning of the ceremonial parade which featured World War 2 diggers through to veterans of the war in Afghanistan, Navy Seals from Sydney, Legatees and local school pupils.

The streets were lined by one of the largest gatherings of onlookers in years with scores of children waving flags and cheering on the service men and women.

Crowds were ten deep at the Cenotaph and the stands surrounding the memorial were full to capacity.

The special guest speaker was Coffs Harbour High School student Lucy Langfield who was one of two local recipients of a $500 RSL Sub-branch scholarship.

Lucy was recognised for her essay on the Battle of the Coral Sea which happened in May 1942 and is considered by many as a turning point in the war in the Pacific.

Despite the allies losing more ships than the enemy Lucy said it was a defining moment in the war because it hindered the progress of the Japanese navy which was bearing down on Port Moresby.

She told the crowd the battle which culminated on May 8 1942 lifted the spirits and resolve of the allies and lead them the United States to victory in the Battle of Midway.

Padre Reverend Graham Whelan said this Anzac commemoration was also significant because it also marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.

He urged the crowd to consider the solemnity and the importance of the day.

"We remember all those who gave their youth for our future."

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