CORONAVIRUS: ‘Anzac spirit will get us through’
THE spirit of Anzac will help Gympie region people beat the coronavirus pandemic and survive the lockdown, RSL Gympie Sub Branch president Martin Muller said from a social distance in his partially locked down Mary St office.
“The Rats of Tobruk were besieged and locked down for eight months.
“They couldn’t go anywhere either,” he said.
Mr Muller said Anzac was a spirit shared by Australians and New Zealanders and was not invented at Gallipoli.
“Gallipoli was where others first noticed the qualities of the Australian and New Zealand people - qualities including courage, endurance, determination, loyalty, ingenuity and mateship.”
The “Light up the Dawn” campaign was a “beautiful example” of this spirit in action, he said.
It was a campaign which came from the people, not from government or the RSL.
Katy McCallum at Kilkivan General Store is one of those people who have helped Australia prepare for its first Anzac Day without parades or crowded public commemorations.
She and her family will be out in front of the shop at 6am for their part in the Light up the Dawn movement and a different kind of sawn service on Saturday.
“We’d like to get the whole town involved,” she said as her children, Audrey and Cooper McCallum show the kind of freshly baked Anzac biscuit fare available to anyone who wants to participate, at an appropriate social distance.
“They just have to walk,, ride or drive past and collect them after the service is over,” she said.
“I’ve already listened to the audio service the RSL has provided for people to play, it goes for about eight minutes.
“I just think it is so important so that children and adults do not forget about the Anzac spirit and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice or served in any of the Defence Forces so that we live freely in Australia today.
“Even a global pandemic can’t keep Aussies from keeping the Anzac spirit alive,” she said.
Mr Muller said there would be no services at the Memorial Flame, but Memorial Lane would be open so that anyone keeping a social distance could walk down and remember, leave a poppy or honour a loved one.
“It’s a public space and not under our control but we urge people to obey social distancing.
The flame would be lit for 24 hours from 6pm Friday, he said, giving people a chance to pause and reflect on any permitted visit to the CBD.