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Krystal Sellars: Cessnock ready to pay its respects on Anzac Day

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Anzac Day is coming up on 25 April and, across the city of Cessnock, hard-working committees will be finalising the details of their commemorations.

At last count there were eight dawn services alone in the Cessnock LGA, all with their own unique touches – Kearsley even has its own Anzac Biscuit bake-off.

The main march in Cessnock continues to grow every year; a few thousand people line the streets to watch it go by and pay their respects to those who have served Australia and died in war.

Another really special event that has cemented its place on the Anzac Day calendar in recent years is the Field of Honour at Kurri Kurri Cemetery.

First staged in 2019, the Field of Honour is a joint project of Coalfields Local History Association and Towns with Heart.

Volunteers will once again work from the early hours of the morning on 25 April to place more than 300 Australian, New Zealand and British flags on the resting places of returned service personnel.

It is a truly incredible sight to see, so if you’re around Kurri Kurri on Anzac Day, swing by and check it out.

Kearsley even has its own Anzac Biscuit bake-off.

Krystal Sellars

One of these volunteers, Lexie Matthews, was named Local Woman of the Year for the Cessnock Electorate in March.

Lexie is a long-serving member of the Coalfields Local History Association and volunteer at the Sir Edgeworth David Memorial Museum (a treasure trove of history located in the heart of Abermain – well worth a visit).

She has played an integral role in the success of the Field of Honour project and has also volunteered with several other community groups and causes.

The Local Woman of the Year award is announced in conjunction with NSW Women of the Year awards, where Cessnock sisters Matilda and Bronte Gibson were named in the Ones to Watch category.

This award honours girls aged 7-15 for their acts of courage, strength, determination and/or kindness.

Matilda and Bronte were recognised for their dedication to helping their local community and charity work.

Congratulations Lexie, Matilda and Bronte.

Speaking of wonderful women doing great things, a working group has been formed for Cessnock Women Connect, which will operate under the umbrella of Cessnock Business Chamber.

Events in the early planning stages include a women’s health forum mid-year, and a domestic violence awareness fundraiser in November, with business-related and social events also on the cards. Stay tuned.

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