All during Saturday night the rain fell in sheets and at 7.00am on the Esplanade reserve in Fremantle on Sunday, the weather didn’t look any more promising. My trusty team of SLE volunteers battled on regardless and by 11.30am we were ready to go and like a sign from above, the sun came out! And the people came, a trickle at first and then in ever increasing waves, placards held high. It’s hard to gauge crowd numbers at a glance but we estimate that the final turnout was in excess of 1,500!
We started at noon with some great music from Dilip and the Davs followed by passionate and rousing speeches from Lisa Baker MLA, Member for Maylands, Senator Rachel Siewert, Chris Tallentire, MLA Member for Gosnells, Lyn MacLaren MLC Member for the South Metropolitan Region and Lyn Bradshaw, National and State President of the RSPCA. Lyn White’s speech was also played over the airwaves during which you could have heard a pin drop and there wasn’t a dry eye on the Esplanade reserve.
The spirit of the day was amazing – happy, friendly, supportive and caring. Children planted their wishes in the Wish Garden and coloured in pictures of lambs and cows. Levy the sheep put in an appearance, as did a beautiful calf called Daisy, a goat and dogs of all shapes and sizes. There were babies and pensioners, bankers and teachers – just ordinary Australians from all walks of life coming together to speak out for those that cannot.