Record crowd enjoys breakfast at club before Two Up

THEY ran out of programs and chairs but Bankstown RSL Sub-branch could not be happier with the bumper crowd descending onto Courthouse Reserve to pay their respects on ANZAC Day last week.

Sub-branch President Terry Corcoran said it was the biggest crowd ever, certainly since covid, with well over 200 in attendance.
“The poor Star Buffet inside the RSL, didn’t know what hit them but we looked after everyone and many said it was one of the best services ever,” he said.
“Some say this day glorifies war, but every veteran will be the first to tell you that their greatest wish is that their children and this nation never have to witness the horrors of war again.
“The way the ANZACs bore the brunt of the fight in the Dardanelles stirred in Australians everywhere a new feeling of camaraderie, a feeling that matched the way in which the rest of the world suddenly began to look at Australia – not just as an offshoot of Britain, but as an independent nation with a very independent character.”
Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Sub-branch President Malcolm Little said their service was incredibly successful too with over 700 converging on Bert Crook Memorial at dawn.
“It was nice to see so many students from local schools performing, the whole event was absolutely brilliant,” he said.
The turnout was also remarkable at ANZAC Mall in Campsie, Chester Hill RSL cenotaph, Panania Diggers cenotaph in Edwards Reserve, Lakemba RSL war memorial and Padstow RSL war memorial next to the station.
Lakemba RSL Sub-branch Vice President Noel Whipp said three Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs teams even turned up as a surprise to enjoy the service, with breakfast enjoyed by several hundreds at the club afterwards.
“One of the highlights was a moving poem ‘Mates’ read by Peter Evangelitis, 12, who has attended all the services since he was three-years-old, with the help of his parents,” he said.
Padstow RSL President John Evans said they hosted a couple of thousand people at the cenotaph which was heartwarming.
“We had the service broadcast on the local radio station 100.9 and fed over 300 with a hot breakfast at the club afterwards,” he said.
“Students from five local schools placed poppies at the memorial, the addresses were inspiring and the club was certainly a hive of activity into the evening with Two Up enjoyed by many in the afternoon.”