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ANZAC Service off

Wednesday, 18th March, 2020

Locals gathered close together during the Afternoon ANZAC DAY Service last year. PICTURE: Myles Burt Locals gathered close together during the Afternoon ANZAC DAY Service last year. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

Broken Hill will be without an ANZAC Day service this year due to ongoing COVID19 fears. 

RSL South Australia announced yesterday that all its RSL Sub-Branches will cancel their ANZAC Day ceremonies; a decision which directly affects the Broken Hill RSL Sub-Branch. 

RSL South Australia said an exception has been made to allow RSL Sub-Branches to hold a Dawn Service for RSL members only at their own discretion. 

Broken Hill Sub-Branch president Des Kennedy said they believed not hosting a service is the right way to protect their members and the general public.

“It might be a bit farfetched some people think, but we’ve got to go with the majority,” Mr Kennedy said.

“If one (visitor) comes up with the virus and we’ve got all our old widows and veterans here, they’re the first ones that could die.”

Mr Kennedy said locals are still able to pay their respects on ANZAC Day by instead holding a minute’s silence, and are welcome to lay a wreath by the Cenotaph which will be cared for by members of the Broken Hill RSL Sub-Branch.

“If you want to lay a wreath up on ANZAC Day, go whenever you want to, just lay the wreaths up there and we’ll pick them up at the end of the day,” Mr Kennedy said.

Mr Kennedy said the local RSL is disappointed the event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said the RSL had lined up guest Navalmen, a high ranking Army Cadet special guest and for local Army Cadets to be able to hold rifles at this year’s ceremony. 

“First time in years, we tried to get it last year and this year we had it,” Mr Kennedy said.

RSL South Australia and Northern Territory joined NSW, VIC, TAS, WA and QLD yesterday in cancelling or heavily restricting ANZAC Day Ceremony’s due to the threat of spreading COVID19.

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