April 22, 2020
Driveway candles, listening to fire sirens or just staying safely at home watching the telly … this year’s Anzac Day is definitely going to be different.
COVID-19 has caused all the regular Anzac Day events around the nation to be postponed this year because of the urgent need to keep social distancing.
But there are plenty of ways families can still commemorate Australia’s most sacred national day this Saturday.
In the South Burnett, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will be sounding their sirens at 11:00am on Anzac Day across the region.
The South Burnett Regional Council has urged residents to unite in a minute’s silence at this time to remember our past and present servicemen and women.
In Kumbia, the Hall Committee will leave the hall open for individuals to drop in small crosses or wreaths throughout the day. A local ex-serviceman has offered to make small crosses for people to place in the hall. Social distancing must be observed.
In Goomeri, local musician Louise Winton will be singing the Australian and New Zealand national anthems plus two of her own military-themed songs at 11:00am online. This will be streamed live on her Facebook page, Louise Winton Sings.
In Wondai, a bugle will sound at 4:20am followed by The Last Post at 4:28am and Reveille. From 6:00am, CROW-FM will pay tribute to those who have served with a broadcast of The Ode and The Last Post followed by a minute’s silence and then the Rouse.
In Blackbutt, a wreath has already been laid and a commemorative plaque struck to mark the 100th anniversary of the erection of the “Digger” statue memorial in town. A further commemoration may be held later after the pandemic restrictions have been eased.
RSL Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington have encouraged residents to “Light Up The Dawn” on Anzac Day by holding a lit candle in their driveways, at their farm gates, on their balconies or in their living rooms at 6:00am.
The aim is for all Australians to become “united in spirit to remember all those who have served and sacrificed for the lifestyle we enjoy today”.
“To look out your driveway at 6:00am and see people lining the streets, still in social isolation but remembering those who have gone and served this country is something that I don’t think we’ll see for a long time to come,” Queensland RSL State President Tony Ferris said.
Some official commemorations will still occur, but in a very restricted fashion.
At 4:28am, Premier Palaszczuk, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and RSL State President Tony Ferris will attend a small commemorative service at the Shine of Remembrance in Brisbane.
ABC-TV will also broadcast a commemorative service from the Australian War Memorial.
The program will start at 5:00am, with the service broadcast live from the Commemorative Area and Hall of Memory from 5:30am.
The event will not be open to the public – people will be turned away if they show up – but will be broadcast live across Australia and streamed online.
To help commemorate Anzac Day at home, the State Library has launched a voice-activated interactive “Commemorate Differently Anzac Stories” app, allowing State Library materials to be accessed via Google Assistant or Alexa.
Through voice-activated prompts on the app, Queenslanders can: