Around 5000 people attended the Gawler RSL 2024 ANZAC Day Dawn Service held in Pioneer Park at 6 am.

In very cold but still and clear conditions men, women, and children from across the region flocked to Dawn Services and other events to commemorate those who have fallen, and those who returned injured or traumatised by their experience in the duty of their nation.

Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo said with the passing of time, ANZAC Day services help the community to reflect and better understand the horror of war and what it does to those men and women directly involved in the conflict.

“While many made the ultimate sacrifice with the giving of their lives, those who returned were never to be the same again, and this had a huge detrimental impact to their families,” Mr Piccolo said.

“The cost in human suffering both during and after the conflict can not be known or understood as in goes on for generations,” Mr Piccolo said.

While ANZAC Day has traditionally commemorated the battle of Gallipoli the day has come to commemorate all those who have fought or provided peace keeping services across numerous conflicts.

Mr Piccolo said he believes the first world war has a special place in our cultural history as it was the first conflict we fought as a nation called Australia, rather than as a collection of separate British Dominions/Colonies.

At the Dawn Service in Gawler, Mr Piccolo was accompanied by Gawler and District College Valedictorians Jail Campbell and Sable Ostrognay.

Mr Piccolo said it was a privilege, and something special, to be accompanied by these two young adults who now attend the school he did as a teenager.

Dawn services were also held in Smithfield and Freeling in the local area, while Wasleys and Hillier Residential Park held commemorative services at 9 am.

Mr Piccolo thanked his staff for representing him at the Smithfield and Freeling Dawn services and the Wasleys commemorative services while he and another staff member attended  the Gawler Dawn and Hillier Park Commemorative Services.  

Mr Piccolo said the commemorative services also had strong attendances as did the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club ANZAC Day Races and the Gawler and Barossa Football Association ANZAC Day Football Round, which saw Willaston play against Gawler Central at home.

At the Hillier Park Commemorative Service, Mr Piccolo spoke about how the current conflicts around the world had made Australians more appreciative of the peace and prosperity we enjoy and home, and how the sacrifices made by the ANZACS and other defence personnel have helped forged the foundation for the democracy and freedom we enjoy today.

“When we look around the world, we see how fortunate we are that we able to resolve our differences through peaceful means,” Mr Piccolo said.

“The best way we can honour our veterans is to create no new wars,” Mr Piccolo.

On ANZAC Day eve, a Virgil was held by the local 608 Squadron and a special open-air screening of the Australian classic film, Gallipoli at the memorial at Pioneer Park.

Mr Piccolo thanked the members of the Gawler RSL and their supporters and sponsors for hosting a thoughtful, dignified, and respectful ANZAC Day service to help us “remember them”, “Lest We Forget”.