THE widespread success of Monday's Remembrance Day service may well be an indication of what is to come as veterans and officials begin planning not just for next year's Anzac Day, but for Anzac centenary celebrations in 2015.
Community groups seeking financial assistance to commemorate the passing of 100 years since World War I began in 1914 can apply for funds through the federal government's Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.
Up to $125,000 will be available for residents within the Paterson electorate to apply for, with applications overseen by MP Bob Baldwin following the advice of an advisory committee.
Mr Baldwin and a yet to be determined committee to be chaired by Dungog councillor and former mayor Glenn Wall will determine where the funds will be distributed.
"The committee will assist and advise me on projects seeking financial support and will make recommendations on which proposals should receive funding," Mr Baldwin said.
"Mass amounts will not be distributed to any one project."
Applications for funding and criteria are at anzaccentenary.gov.au/grants.
Despite the rain on Monday, hundreds turned out to Remembrance Days services across the Port.
Raymond Terrace RSL sub-branch vice-president Bill Garret and Nelson Bay sub-branch president John Tate said impressive crowds turned out this year.
"It had to be one of the biggest crowds in a long long time," Mr Garret said of the Raymond Terrace service.
"About 90 to 100 people came out," he said.
Across the Port, in Nelson Bay, Mr Tate said a "few hundred people" turned out to watch the new Apex Park memorial site be blessed then take part in its first official service.
Mr Tate said Anzac Day at the memorial will be even more special next year when the new garden around the site is in bloom, including red poppies.