Not even the threat of predicted rain could dampen spirits at Anzac Day dawn services around the region on Friday.
The rain stayed away as big crowds rose early and flocked to services in St Marys, Minchinbury, Seven Hills, Lalor Park and Blacktown.
More than 3000 people attended Pinegrove Memorial Park for the Rooty Hill RSL service.
Dignitaries in attendance included federal Chifley MP Ed Husic, state Mount Druitt MP Richard Amery and several Blacktown councillors.
Many returned to Rooty Hill RSL afterwards for breakfast.
‘‘We’re pleased the weather held off,’’ sub branch president Sean Plunkett said.
‘‘Around 35 to 40 per cent of attendees took part in the march, including a lot of military descendants. It was great to see a lot of teenagers and children at the service. It speaks volumes about their families and the values they put into the community.’’
Sub branch treasurer Allan Shearan added:
‘‘The Anzac spirit is truly alive.’’
Around 3000 attended the Seven Hills Toongabbie RSL service — it’s biggest attendance ever.
Around 1500 ex-servicemen took part in the march from Boomerang Place to the club.
‘‘We had 2000 people here last year,’’ sub branch president Graeme Quinn said.
‘‘We’re very happy with this year’s attendance. We’ve been working with and sending ex-servicemen to schools in the area to do services. As a result, we’re finding that more and more families are coming along to dawn service.’’
Mr Quinn said plans are already underway for Anzac Day next year, which will mark 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli.
‘‘We’re expecting up to 5000 here next year,’’ he said.
Mr Plunkett added:
‘‘We won’t been changing next year’s service much. Our aim has always been to commemorate the fallen. If we get big crowds next year, then that’s a bonus.’’
Read next week’s copy for a full Anzac Day wrap up.