PAYING TRIBUTE: Frank Ekin plays the bagpipes as the waves crash over the wreck of the Maheno.
PAYING TRIBUTE: Frank Ekin plays the bagpipes as the waves crash over the wreck of the Maheno. Boni Holmes

Small towns pay respects to fallen

FROM Fraser Island to the far corners of the region, the Anzac spirit was alive and well in the country towns and fishing villages where hundreds paid tribute to the fallen.

At Toogoom more than 150 people attended a service.

Special guest Wing Commander Bryan Blacka reminded the crowd the battle on the beaches of Gallipoli was not remembered as a success but "those who died symbolised courage, mateship, humour and persistence against the odds".

Commander Blacka said Australia had been independent for barely a decade when the nation formed an identity through the Anzacs.

He said the tragedies of war were present not only in Australia's past, but in its present.

"It's so difficult to come to terms with a lost parent, partner or friend," he said.

"So today we remember not only those who died, but those who lived on and cared for the injured and returned, such as the RSL, Legacy, Mates for Mates and many other organisations."

A crowd gathers at the Howard cenotaph to pay their respects.
A crowd gathers at the Howard cenotaph to pay their respects. Alistair Brightman

Across the Bay, replicas of the Maheno's bell was rung on Fraser Island as a service was held at the wreck of the ship used during the First World War.

Students from Maheno School in New Zealand attended the service.

Services were also held at Howard, River Heads and Burrum Heads.

Margery McDonald from Torbanlea comes to honour the soldiers every year at the Howard cenotaph.
Margery McDonald from Torbanlea comes to honour the soldiers every year at the Howard cenotaph.