Keep soldiers in mind while isolated on Anzac Day: RSL Sub Branch

REMEMBER: Nyngan RSL Sub-Branch president Derek Francis is encouraging people to still remember ex-servicemen and women in mind while house-bound on April 25. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
REMEMBER: Nyngan RSL Sub-Branch president Derek Francis is encouraging people to still remember ex-servicemen and women in mind while house-bound on April 25. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

With the cancellation of all Anzac Day events across the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Nyngan RSL Sub-Branch is calling for the community to keep ex-servicemen and women in mind while house-bound on April 25.

RSL NSW announced that all public Anzac Day services would not be going ahead after the federal government announced bans on 'non-essential' outdoors gatherings of more than 500 people.

In Nyngan this includes the march, dawn service and war graves services.

In response to the situation, Nyngan RSL Sub-Branch president Derek Francis has called for the community to keep ex-servicemen and women in their thoughts.

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"I personally think that it would be appropriate for people to commemorate Anzac Day in a respectful way in their own homes," he said.

"This could be by standing and observing a minutes silence at 6am and or 11am in memory of service men and women past and present."

People in the shire are invited to lay wreathes at the cenotaph, keeping in mind the protocol of social distancing. Photo: Zaarkacha Marlan

People in the shire are invited to lay wreathes at the cenotaph, keeping in mind the protocol of social distancing. Photo: Zaarkacha Marlan

Mr Francis said the community are welcome to lay wreathes at the cenotaph, but had stressed the importance of maintaining their personal safety in doing so.

Bogan Shire mayor Ray Donald is supportive of the RSL Sub-Branch's stance, and has heard of a few ideas already.

"We have such a respect for Anzac day and all that it stands for traditionally, that despite the disappointment of not being able to gather together to acknowledge that, people are going to remember it anyway and this year pay their respects individually," he said.

In the days since, many Australians have taken to social media to advocate alternative methods of commemoration.

A Facebook post suggesting Australians should stand at the end of their driveways at dawn for a minute silence on Anzac Day has generated 15,000 shares.

Another suggestion was people craft their own poppies and wreathes and display them on their front doors.

The RSL board has advised that it is working with the NSW government to plan an alternative commemoration that can be televised, or aired over the radio.