FOUR horsemen from the 7th Bemboka Light Horse and their horses as well as a number of active servicemen made the ANZAC Day dawn service at Bermagui special.
The service at Bermagui seems to grow each year and a key indication to that was that the Bermagui RSL sub-branch this year ordered 10kg of meat for the traditional stew at the Gunfire breakfast, compared to 6kg the year before.
Working to serve up the “Gunfire Stew” were Irene Sutton from the ladies auxiliary and her helper Claire Luland and assisted by Ian Reid of the sub-branch.
Standing guard at the dawn service were four members of the 7th Bemboka Light Horse – Trooper Stuart Hull on Domino, Corporal Craig Cowgill on Victor, Trooper Isaac Reid on Asta La Vista and Sergeant Chris Reid on Chappy.
While the Sergeant Reid and the others have been attending for up to six years, this was the first year young Trooper Isaac could attend as he just turned 16.
Another attendee of note was the piper Jesse Hardy of Quaama, who has attended the Bermagui dawn service for many years.
This year he rushed back from a trip to Queensland making it back to Bermagui at 1am on ANZAC Day and play his bagpipes.
ANZAC Day is also an opportunity for families to catch up. Families such as the Caves boys, Josh, James and Andy, the brothers were there together.
The Bermagui dawn service is also a regular occasion for the Lucas family of Quaama, mum and dad Charmaine and Dan and kids Abbie, Brock, Zahli and Chloe, who attend each year as a family.
And ANZAC Day touches all generations with a group of local young people – Sandy Mathews, Megan and Nikki Bragg, Shane Bantick and Zac Needs – enjoying the Gunfire Breakfast at the Bermagui Country Club.
Sitting together at the breakfast were a couple of active serving members of differing ages and ranks, but who both have had interesting experiences in the armed services.
Colonel Charlies Vagi of the Royal Australian Engineers is now retired and is in the process of moving to Bermagui from Canberra.
He served in the first Gulf War in Iraq and is still an active reservist.
Seated next to him was Able Seaman Benjamin Monck of Cobargo who has just returned from serving on HMAS Tobruk providing humanitarian and disaster relief for the hurricane-hit Philippines.
He is now receiving more training at HMAS Cerberus in Victoria and is looking forward to his next deployment.
Also at the Bermagui dawn service were a group of three smartly dressed young men who said they were active servicemen and could not give any more details.