The catafalque party stand to attention at the cenotaph during the dawn service in Maryborough.
The catafalque party stand to attention at the cenotaph during the dawn service in Maryborough. Robyne Cuerel

ADF allows reservists guard the cenotaph on Anzac Day

A GREAT Maryborough tradition was continued at Thursday's Anzac Day ceremony - though it was almost lost just a few months ago.

For more than 90 years, Maryborough had men from its own depot man the catafalque party at the annual Anzac Day ceremonies.

But last November, Maryborough RSL Sub Branch president Bob Evans was informed no army reservists would be provided to guard the cenotaph and he had resigned himself to using cadets instead.

Hervey Bay would also be deprived of reservists, Mr Evans said.

Then two weeks ago the Australian Defence Force had a change of heart and Mr Evans was relieved to hear Maryborough's tradition would continue, with reservists given permission to form the catafalque party.

Private Peter Spain, Pte Nathan Christensen, Lance Cpl Terry Cordell, Pte Andrew Cleave and Pte Liam Porter from the catafalque party at the Hervey Bay Anzac Day ceremony.
Private Peter Spain, Pte Nathan Christensen, Lance Cpl Terry Cordell, Pte Andrew Cleave and Pte Liam Porter from the catafalque party at the Hervey Bay Anzac Day ceremony. Alistair Brightman

Hervey Bay also had reservists at its Anzac ceremonies.

"There was a big stink about it," Mr Evans said.

"I think they felt they had done the wrong thing."

Mr Evans praised the job the reservists had done at the Anzac Day events, especially given the relatively short notice they had.

"It was a very successful day all round," he said.

Before the decision was made to allow the reservists to guard the cenotaph, they had been willing to provide their services free of charge, Mr Evans said.

But the RSL was informed at the time that because of insurance reasons, that would not be possible.