Evelyn Witheridge.
Evelyn Witheridge. Paul Braven

Hoping rosemary Anzac tradition continues

FOR 25 years Evelyn Witheridge has distributed sprigs of rosemary to people at the Gladstone Anzac Day dawn service.

This year was her last.

It's a job she considers to be very special. "Rosemary means remembrance," she said, "and that's exactly what Anzac Day is all about - remembering those who fought and died so that we can live the lives we enjoy now.

"Rosemary grew on the beaches of Gallipoli.

"That makes it even more special."

For years Mrs Witheridge picked the sprigs from her own rosemary bush, but last year it died, so this year's sprigs had to come from a friend's bush.

She said the tradition, which is fairly unique to the Gladstone parade, "seems to be taking off elsewhere too, so that's a good thing".

Mrs Witheridge decided to call time on the tradition, but is hoping someone else will continue it.

"I'd like someone younger to step up. If I don't step down nobody will step up," she said.

For her efforts, Mrs Witheridge was presented with one of the 100-year medals at Saturday's dawn service.

"I was a bit tearful when that happened," she said.