Bendigo ANZAC Centenary BY Matthew Davis

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The landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915 has been commemorated each year with ANZAC Day on the 25th April. This allows the public to honour past and present servicemen and women who fought in all wars (previously only World War 1). 2015 is a special year as it commemorates the Centenary of the Gallipoli landing.

Bendigo was selected to hold two events over the 24th-25th April to mark the event. On the evening of the 24th, a special ceremony at the Bendigo War Memorial named all the Bendigo-based soldiers who fought. The memorial itself was decorated and lit up with red lights for the occasion. On the 25th the annual dawn service and day march through the streets of Bendigo was held, a highlight being the first public showing of newly restored Bendigo Tram #45 which has been painted in a special ANZAC livery and will serve as a mobile storyboard on the story of the ANZACs. Speeches by the Mayor and other Bendigo dignitaries, followed by community groups laying wreaths then concluded this fitting tribute to those who served our nation in faraway lands.

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