Anzac Day Dawn Service 2020
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), RSLWA has made the difficult decision to cancel all 2020 ANZAC Day services.
Please visit their website for more information: https://www.rslwa.org.au/
The ANZAC Day Dawn Service has special significance in Albany as it is reportedly the site of Australia's first Dawn Service. Year after year the service attracts thousands of people wishing to pay their respects.
Follow in the footsteps of First World War Veteran and Albany local ‘Padre’ Arthur Ernest White who began the Australian ANZAC Day Dawn Service tradition in Albany in 1930. After holding a Requiem Mass for the Battle Dead as St John’s Church on Albany’s iconic York St, Padre White and the congregation moved in progression to the nearby War memorial for a simple wreath laying ceremony, concluding with the words “As the sun rises and goeth down, we will remember them”.
It is reported that after this service the following and subsequent years, he and fellow members of the St John’s congregation climbed to the summit of Mt Clarence, the vantage point the people of Albany gathered to watch the convoy of ships leave for the Great War in 1914.
In memory of those troops, Padre White arranged for a boatman to cast a wreath in King George Sound at the harbour entrance, something which is mirrored today by the firing of a flare.
Today’s Dawn Service takes place entirely atop Mt Clarence at the Desert Mounted Corp Memorial, built in 1964 and unveiled by Australian Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies. Over 3000 veterans, descendants, travellers and Albany locals gather to pay tribute the fallen Australian and New Zealand soldiers.
Albany’s varying weather and hours spent standing are a small inconvenience compared to the horrors experienced by the soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, however we do encourage those wishing to attend to be prepared. Please ensure you are wearing weather proof clothing, have comfortable shoes and have eaten prior to attending the service.