It may have been 70 years since the last Menzies Ferry Anzac Day service was held but there was a good turnout for last Tuesday’s event.
About 60 people attended the service, which was also the centennial of the war memorial being built.
Gore man Mervyn Todd (86) grew up in the district.
It was ‘‘absolutely marvellous’’ being able to attend the service, Mr Todd said.
‘‘I’ve got all my grandkids and greatgrandkids with us.’’
He was the youngest of 11 children and his brother Leslie was the only one in the district to die in World War 2.
‘‘I was going to school here when Les got killed.
‘‘I was 8.
‘‘It was tragic for the family.’’
When he was at school the pupils used to eat their lunch on the steps of the memorial.
Menzies Ferry Historical Committee chairman Malcolm Sinclair said in its day Menzies Ferry was a thriving place.
In World War 1, 44 men left the district to go to war, which gave an indication of how many people lived there, Mr Sinclair said.
‘‘In here, there was a dairy factory, there was a store, there was a school and a hall.
‘‘Lots of small farms and lots of kids.’’
In 1923 when the memorial was unveiled 500 people attended. The residents stopped holding Anzac services at the memorial, preferring to support the Wyndham and Edendale services which were both about 6km away.
There had been a resurgence in interest in attending Anzac services, he said.
‘‘It’s tremendous that kids today in lots of cases know more about the war than what the children of the soldiers knew.’’
Now the hall had closed and would be demolished, the committee planned to build a kiosk to record the history of the area.