WITH legs dangling off the side of the Commercial Hotel balcony and a commemorative beer in hand, a small group watched as the Anzac Day parade marched down Camperdown's main street.
Past the brass band, flag bearers and returned servicemen, hundreds of locals followed the procession to the cenotaph for an emotional service while children held the hands of their parents and grandparents as they walked through the towering elms showering their golden autumnal leaves along the avenue.
As Camperdown RSL president Alan Fleming opened the service, patient primary school students watched on from the front row with sprigs of rosemary pinned to their uniforms.
This Anzac Day, Mr Fleming highlighted the importance of recognising not only the diggers lost in the First and Second World Wars, but also current-day soldiers and veterans.
"Anzac Day initially remembered those who endured the horrors of Gallipoli," he said.
"The spirit of mateship and endurance shown at that time has carried on over the following conflicts and we now remember those who served in all wars since that time and reflect on the tragic loss of life, their injuries and the sacrifice and sorrow endured by so many families for years to come.
"We must no forget our current soldiers and veterans, many who returned safely on home soil but lost the battle with the demons that followed them home.The number of serving and former soldiers who have taken their own lives is now more than 12-times Australia's combat tolls in Afghanistan.
"There are hundreds if not thousands who will carry permanent physical and mental illness for the rest of their lives. Lest We Forget those modern day veterans and families on Anzac Day. May we strive to show the mateship and support that was so evident in our past."
Guest speaker and veteran Max Clark spoke about how the RSL has helped him recover from the trauma he was exposed to while serving.
Silence encased the 800-strong crowd as Bernie Dunne performed the Last Post and Rouse, which was followed by wreath-laying.
It was the first time Corangamite Mayor Neil Trotter had attended a Camperdown Anzac Service.
"I haven't been here before but this is really impressive, it's a really good day," Mr Trotter said.
"It's very meaningful and really well done, and it's a credit to Alan Fleming who organises it all. You can just see the amount of effort that's gone into putting it on.
"For a relatively small branch it's just great."
After the service the Camperdown RSL was packed to the rafters as attendees gathered out of the cold April air for a hot cup of soup.
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