Living Gems Caboolture

Huge commemoration planned at Caboolture

Living Gems Caboolture Riverfront is home to more than 100 ex-servicemen and women, so needless to say the turnout at Anzac commemorations is significant.

“Our resort has many veterans and more than 280 people usually attend our services,” said Pat Quinlan, a former driver with the Australian navy.

Pat, and two Vietnam veterans Bob Pfeiffer (army) and Don Grieve (air force), organise the huge event each year.

“We do a dawn service and have a march from the front gate to the flagpole area outside of the Country Club,” she said.

“It is about the fourth year we’ve been doing it now. Bob and Don arrange the ceremonial section of the Anzac Day commemoration and I put together the food for the day. We have a gunfire breakfast at the dawn service which usually consists of a sausage or bacon in a roll, or a bowl of mince, then afterwards we go off to individual services.

“About noon we reconvene at the resort with a short memorial to start the afternoon, followed by socialising and entertainment. We want to end the day on a high note for our vets, not feeling depressed or on a low. The afternoon is about remembering the good times with their mates.”

Pat said the entertainment schedule this year would comprise Rob Rosenlund from 80s show band Wickety Wack, along with plenty of singing and dancing.

“We’ve had the army band and navy band provide entertainment on the day, as well as our artistic seniors group and Starlight Singers group at the resort,” she said.

Anzac Day has always been extra special for the Quinlan family. Pat’s late husband, Michael, had also been in the navy, and two of their four children – Shane and Kellie – followed in their parents’ footsteps.

“It’s very emotional of course, and brings back memories of people you knew and lost – not only from their service but from issues deriving from their time in the forces,” said Pat.

“There is huge camaraderie among service people and it’s something that can’t be explained unless you’ve experienced it.”

On Anzac Day, Living Gems Caboolture Riverfront commemorations begin at 5:30am with a march, followed by a service at 6am.