For Tony Lee, president of Seymour Returned and Services League sub branch, the week leading up to Anzac Day is a chaotic but rewarding time.
Seymour’s Dawn Service will officially begin at the RSL Hall at 5.45am before arriving at the Memorial Gates for the opening prayer at 6am.
Attendees will then be able to enjoy a Gunfire Breakfast for $5 (children under 10 for just a gold coin), courtesy of the Ladies Auxilliary, from 7am onwards, with the parade returning to the RSL Hall around 10.30am.
At times a logistical nightmare, with many groups and little events to organise, Mr Lee said he was excited the Dawn Service keeps growing every year.
‘‘The day of the march itself is just getting huge — there were probably 600 people there last year,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s a lot of kids and a lot of people come in from out of town — last year we had a caravan crew come from Adelaide. They were heading to Brisbane and stopped off for the Dawn Service and Anzac Day and marched with us.
‘‘The reason it’s growing in popularity is because we’re getting a lot of stuff in that’s different. The army gives us about 120 troops and we do the Cenotaph and people come along to watch that. We also have military vehicles at the rear of the march, and the police will be there escorting us. The support we get from the army is just the best thing.
‘‘Come along and if you see our guys in the streets selling badges, please do support it ... because the more we sell, the more we get back, and we need it for work around here.’’
Mr Lee said children were welcome to join in the Dawn Service parade, but were advised to stay behind the veterans, while anyone who wishes to lay a wreath should call the Seymour RSL ahead of time so their names can be read out.
For information, phone Tony Lee on 0418 865 893.