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ANZAC: Vets front up in full force at Belmont, photos

MORE than 600 people packed into Belmont Bowling Club yesterday to pay respects to the fallen and those who served their country.
苏州美甲培训

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

DEDICATION: Brothers Petty Officer Aaron Crockett and Major Adam Crockett at Belmont Bowling Club.

A march planned along the town’s main street was cancelled because of lightning and torrential rain.

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Hundreds of people had sought to attend the march, despite the rain.

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

An Anzac Day service was moved from the new war memorial at Cullen Park to the club.

Punters were packed in like sardines, taking every available space.

Belmont sub-branch president Joe Hayes said about two-thirds of people ‘‘went home because of the rain’’.

‘‘We couldn’t fit them all into the club,’’ Mr Hayes said.

Jack Sherry, 93, and Peter Huber, 70, were preparing to march before it was cancelled.

Mr Sherry, a World War II veteran, said the day brought him ‘‘sadness’’.

Mr Huber served in the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation or ‘‘Konfrontasi’’, which lasted from 1963 to 1966.

Mr Huber, of Redhead, saw some action in the conflict.

He recalled ‘‘long and hot patrols in the jungle, snakes and burning leeches off my legs’’.

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

Scenes from the Belmont Anzac Day service. Pictures: Ryan Osland

‘‘War happens – it’s a human thing,’’ he said.

Peter Walsh, 75, attended to remember his brother, Brian Walsh, who died in Vietnam aged 29.

‘‘Brian would have been 73 now,’’ Mr Walsh said. ‘‘He was awarded the Military Medal.’’

Mr Walsh said his brother was a ‘‘highly decorated Australian soldier, born and bred in the Hunter’’.

‘‘I come here to help celebrate the most important day on the calendar, apart from Christmas Day,’’ he said.

Lake Macquarie councillor Laurie Coghlan said hundreds attended the dawn service at Pelican.

‘‘It’s getting bigger and bigger every year,’’ Cr Coghlan said. ‘‘It’s grown to one of the biggest services you’ll see.’’

BROTHERS Adam and Aaron Crockett – who served their country in separate conflicts – spent Anzac Day together at Belmont.

The pair were to march together in uniform for the first time, before bad weather ruined the plan.

Aaron Crockett, 33, of Belmont North, served in Afghanistan in the navy as an aviation technician.

‘‘Everyone has their own opinion [of the Afghanistan War],’’ Mr Crockett said.

‘‘We had a job to do.

‘‘We certainly helped them out and made it a better place – now it’s up to them.’’

Adam Crockett, 31, of Belmont North, served in Sudan, Africa, with the UN and had been in the army for 13 years.

‘‘It’s all about paying respect,’’ he said, of Anzac Day.

His brother added: ‘‘It’s a special day to remember those who served before.’’

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