Anzac Day commemoration

ABOUT 300 guests gathered at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort & Spa for a solemn Anzac Day dawn service yesterday.

Among the men, women and children from resorts across the Coral Coast were Garth and Judy from Gold Coast, Australia.

“It was really emotional for us to be able to mark what is considered a very special event in Australia’s proud history,” the couple said.

“And it was really touching to be able to be away from Australia, where Anzac Day is a huge event, and to still feel that the efforts of our servicemen and the sacrifices they made are recognised in Fiji, this really means a lot to us and to all the Australians and New Zealanders who are holidaying here.”

Resort general manager Peter Hopgood said interest in the event had grown over the past seven years.

Mr Hopgood said the Anzac Day service was not held to celebrate or glorify war but rather to remember those who had served during conflict and crisis.

He said the Anzac spirit was alive and well and most recently evident when Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston left a trail of destruction and pain across the country.

“It was pleasing to note that last year, in our time of need, it was the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand that were first on the scene to assist in the rebuilding of villages and schools after the devastating Cyclone Winston,” he said.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

The day also marked the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

Observed on April 25 each year, Anzac Day was originally held to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

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