Anzac Day 2012 held more significance than usual for Ballarat veteran Bill Bedson.
For Mr Bedson, 87, returning from fighting in the islands of New Guinea meant coming to a convalescence camp in Ballarat, where he later settled and brought up his family.
For many years, Mr Bedson travelled to Mulwala, NSW, to share Anzac Day with friends and fellow veterans.
But this year, he decided to stay in Ballarat and attend the dawn service with his children and grandchildren.
“It was a wonderful moment,” Mr Bedson said.
“The dawn service was very well done, and even though it was obscenely cold, it’s marvellous so many people came out.
“It just shows that the tradition is not dying by any means, but really it is getting bigger.”
After landing at Finschhafen in New Guinea and fighting alongside his mates, coming to Ballarat to recover from his injuries was the start of many years of happiness in the region for Mr Bedson.
“I was a Melbourne boy but I married a Ballarat girl and that was the end of it,” he said.
He said the opportunity to mark Anzac Day at the Sturt Street Cenotaph was very moving.
“It’s been the first time in many years I have been here with all the young ones, including eight grandchildren.
“The monuments hold special meaning, and I find it hard not to cry when I think about so many young people who lost their lives.”