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Anzac Day: Currumbin’s Tradition

Anzac Day, 2020 would have marked the 10th anniversary of the moving Burial to Sea ceremony the Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Life Saving Club and Currumbin RSL organise each year as part of Currumbin’s Dawn Service.

Before dawn, members of the Vikings club row their surf boats out to sea and as the sun rises they lay to rest the ashes of an ex-serviceman or woman.

More than 20,000 people attended the service in 2019. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, there will be no service this year.

Mark Owens, former Boat Captain at the Vikings, organises rowers for the ceremony each year and said it has been a great honour.

“Over the years it has been nice to be able to give a tiny bit back to the service men and women who did so much for us, who put their hand up in whatever capacity when we needed them,” he said.

“It is always an emotional morning for rowers and families but at the same time a happy one.

“It has been great to be able to give the diggers a nice send-off with their service mates as they are not alone out there.”

David Dwight, a fellow Vikings club member, participates each year and proudly wears his Grandfather’s medals.

“I think the club feels really privileged to be a part of it,” he said.

“We come together as a community and show a lot of respect for past servicemen and women.

Dawn

Photo Credit: Adam Head / Courier Mail. Features former RSL President Ron Workman (middle) with Mark Owens (left) and David Dwight (far left) from the Currumbin Beach Vikings Life Saving Club. Pictured alongside Currumbin locals (right) Blaise Masson, wife Lindy, Smith and Cairo who would have been at the dawn service.

“Club members are lining up to get into a boat and get out to sea. Everyone rallies together.”

Dwight identifies similarities between the military and surf lifesaving.

“It’s a lot to do with mateship and there’s certain disciplines that you have with a surf club,” he said.

“We have to patrol the beaches and we have to have that commitment level.”

In 2020 twenty boats were set to row out to sea on Anzac morning with Dwight and Owens forming part of those groups.

Instead the pair will be taking part in RSL Queensland’s Light Up the Dawn initiative.

“On Anzac Day I’ll be Lighting up the Dawn on my front driveway in my street,” Dwight said.

“There’s a couple of boat rowers in my street so we’ll be all standing on our driveways and paying our respects in that manner.”

You can register to Light Up the Dawn here. SLSQ are encouraging members to wear their club uniform.

Article by Josie Fielding.

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