Orange residents came in their thousands for a record-breaking dawn service attendance yesterday morning.
President of the Orange Returned Service League (RSL), Brian Merchant, estimated the crowd had swelled to more than 4000 people, nearly double the previous year’s turnout.
“Previously people have lined up two or three abreast and this year we see four and five and more,” he said.
“It is absolutely fantastic we are so very happy.”
Mr Merchant said the RSL had been trying to increase crowd numbers at the dawn service for several years. He said he was extremely pleased to see so many young people in attendance.
“There were so many 16 and 17-year-olds which is really a positive thing to see.”
Orange Evangelical Church Minister Brian Bennett said he was warmed to see the record-breaking turnout.
“It is testament to the Anzac spirit,” he said.
“It doesn't shrink, it becomes symbolic and grows and grows.”
It was particularly pleasing to see so many people in attendance as this will be the last year Mr Merchant will conduct the dawn service as president of the club. Mr Merchant intends to retire in the near future.
“I will definitely miss it I think,” he said.
“I'll never stop going though.”