Anzac Day 2020: Significance not lost as Peel commemorate differently

Mandurah RSL sub-branch president Dave Mabbs said Anzac Day would be memorable for a lot of people this year as people participate in services at home across the region. Photo: Justin Rake.
Mandurah RSL sub-branch president Dave Mabbs said Anzac Day would be memorable for a lot of people this year as people participate in services at home across the region. Photo: Justin Rake.

Memorable.

This is the word Mandurah RSL sub-branch president Dave Mabbs used to describe this year's Anzac commemorations as national rituals of marches, services and publicly shared respect are suspended.

Residents will not gather in numbers to hear the Ode, Reveille and The Last Post, adding an extra dimension of sadness and loss to the national day of mourning.

Dave Mabbs, a veteran himself, said the situation was disappointing for veterans across the Peel region.

"We are getting inundated with calls from veterans that are saddened we can't gather at the memorial like we've done for the past 104 years," he said.

"It is upsetting that we can't pay the respect that we normally would in a normal world."

But he said the sub-branch supported the concept of people standing at the end of their driveways at dawn to pay their respects.

"I think it will be more personal this year by standing at the end of the driveway and doing your own service," he said.

"The driveway service is going to pull the nation together more than ever."

Mr Mabbs will be part of a live dawn service broadcast on local radio station, Coastlive (97.3) at 6am.

Brass instrument players across the nation are planning on playing The Last Post from their driveways this Anzac Day.

Brass instrument players across the nation are planning on playing The Last Post from their driveways this Anzac Day.

Mandurah RSL member and Pipe Major Len Perry said he would also still be playing the Last Post from his driveway.

"Thirty-five years ago I was proudly presented with a banner to fly from the Pipe Major's pipes each Anzac Day.

"We would like everyone to know that it will again be flying this year as I play a distant tune for you all."

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Anyone attending the Mandurah War Memorial privately during the day must obey the COVID-19 protocols and take into consideration whether their visit is essential.

"RSL will ensure the appropriate flags are flying at the memorial for members of the public who wish to go down and lay a floral tribute on behalf of their ancestors," Mr Mabbs said.

Anyone attending war memorials to lay a wreath on Anzac Day must obey social distancing rules. Photo: Supplied.

Anyone attending war memorials to lay a wreath on Anzac Day must obey social distancing rules. Photo: Supplied.

In Pinjarra, RSL sub-branch pesident Les Giles said he hoped everyone would remember the Anzacs by taking part in the driveway dawn service.

"It is most unfortunate under the current circumstances that we are unable to hold our Anzac Day services, this being the RSL's centenary year in Pinjarra," he said.

"At this point I encourage everyone to take part in their own driveway dawn reflection, with a candle and homemade poppies."

Mandurah RSL Sub-Branch representative Brien Bush said Anzac Day was a time to reflect on those fallen.

"I commemorate the men and women who payed the supreme sacrifice in defending this wonderful country, Australia," he said.

"We have a debt of gratitude to them, that we will never be able to repay."