AS dawn broke over Yambuk yesterday, district residents paused to reflect on their own local war legacy for the first time on home soil.
More than 60 people attended the town’s inaugural Anzac Day commemoration, a flickering flame providing scant warmth to those gathered around the small war memorial in High Street.
The memorial was installed more than a decade ago but Yambuk veterans previously had to travel to Port Fairy or Warrnambool in order to take part in Anzac Day services.
Yambuk Vietnam war veteran Michael Cain led the event and said it was a fitting tribute to all ex-servicemen and women.
He served with the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in Vietnam as part of a transport platoon for seven months in 1971. “It was absolutely amazing the turn-out we had, Yambuk is a pretty strong community,” Mr Cain said.
“We had a quick head count and there was about 60 to 70 people, which bodes well given this is the first time we’ve held it and Yambuk is a small town.”
Mr Cain is one of three Yambuk residents to serve in Vietnam while dozens from older generations served in the world wars. “It’s great to see Anzac Day being recognised,” he said.
“I think national pride has really become stronger in the past 10 years or so.
“There’s no stigma in being proud of your country like some believed in that time.
“Yambuk is like the hundreds of country towns around Australia — people serving their country because it was the right thing to do.”