Community encouraged to participate in ANZAC Day driveway services

An ANZAC Day driveway service

Wyong RSL Sub-branch is holding a photo competition for the best ANZAC Day driveway service set up to encourage community members to participate in ANZAC Day.

Welfare Officer, Peter Niven, said they wanted to keep the interest in ANZAC Day alive as dawn and morning service capacities had been reduced.

“Although restrictions are easing and some ANZAC Day services will be held, RSL NSW headquarters are strongly encouraging driveway services again this year,” Niven said.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Anzac Day commemorations were restricted to driveway services, and they were a resounding success, so we are encouraging the public to embrace these driveway services and to take a photo of their efforts.”

“We just went through the Centenary of ANZACs, which had 1,200 to 1,500 people at our sub-branch, but because of COVID-19, we are down to a limited number of 400,” Niven said.

The photo competition’s first prize is a $200 voucher to either Westfield Tuggerah or Club Wyong, second prize is a $100 voucher, the third prize is $50, and there’s also a $100 children’s encouragement voucher.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Darren Chester, said ANZAC Day was the most sacred day of tribute on the Australian calendar.

“It provides all Australians with the opportunity to remember and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our past and current service personnel as well as honour the more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation,” Chester said.

“A Covid-safe national service will be held at the Australian War Memorial and broadcast nationally, with all Australians encouraged to tune in and watch on the day.

“Around Australia, commemorative activities will be planned, managed, and delivered by the RSL, ex-service organisations and community groups, in line with public health guidance in each state or territory.

“Whether it’s attending a local service or standing in your driveway and lighting up the dawn, I encourage all Australians to continue the tradition of honouring our service personnel in a way that is solemn and respectful.”

Niven said the club planned to hold two services at the Club Wyong RSL car park at 5:45am and 11am, however numbers are restricted per COVID-19 rules.

Hayley McMahon