WIMMERA residents braved cold conditions and slept under the stars at Horsham’s Camp Gallipoli on Friday night.
The event, at Horsham Soundshell, highlighted the history of the Anzac story and allowed people to experience sleeping outside as the original Anzacs did 100 years ago.
A highlight of the event was the arrival of the Anzac flame, which organisers received in Canberra in February.
Horsham College captain Maddison Crough, 17, accepted the flame and was in charge of keeping it lit until the dawn service on Saturday.
She said it was an honour to be given the important role.
‘‘I was nervous about receiving the torch – it was very heavy,’’ she said.
Maddison said it was essential young people were involved in Anzac Day commemorations.
‘‘It’s important we have an understanding of Anzac Day, especially being the 100th anniversary,’’ she said.
‘‘We are the next generation and we need to have the knowledge to pass on to future generations after us.’’
‘‘It was an amazing experience and it’s something I’ll tell people about for a long time.’’Kathryn Op de Coul
The official proceedings also included speeches about the background of Gallipoli by Army Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Crowley
Horsham’s St Brigid’s College student Kathryn Op de Coul said she wanted to attend Camp Gallipoli because she loved the idea of being able to camp under the stars and learn about the First World War.
‘‘It was fun to stay overnight because we got to get all rugged up and watched lots of different videos along with people performing,’’ she said.
‘‘It was absolutely freezing but it was warm in our swags – lucky it didn’t rain.’’
Kathryn said the best part of the event was waking up for the dawn service on Saturday.
‘‘It is such a big deal being 100 years since the first landing in Gallipoli,’’ she said.
‘‘It was an amazing experience and it’s something I’ll tell people about for a long time.’’
Blackheath’s Susie and Graham Hedt took their three children to Camp Gallipoli.
The family did not stay overnight, but enjoyed the service at Sawyer Park.
‘‘My pop fought in Darwin during the Second World War, so history is important to us,’’ Mrs Hedt said.
‘‘We attend the dawn service in Horsham each year as well – my children have gone every year since they were babies.
‘‘It’s good for the children to get an understanding of it all.’’