In stark contrast to Anzac Day 2020, this year’s commemorative services and march went ahead on Sunday without a hitch, with COVIDSafe protocols in place and as a result of exhaustive, logistical organisation in the lead up to the day by the Mildura RSL, member volunteers including Jo Rodda and with the support of Mildura Rural City Council.
The Dawn service was well attended, with QR code registrations indicating that more than 4000 people had turned out to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Mildura RSL manager of Veterans Services Paul Mensch said that the day’s events went well and he was pleasantly surprised at the large number of people who attended the services and watched the march.
“We had more than 4000 people at the Dawn Service and those in attendance were very co-operative in regard to social distancing, using the hand sanitizer and registering with the QR codes,” Mr Mensch said.
“We had a large number of staff walking around with the QR codes on a lanyard making sure that everyone was registered.
“The service was short, but as always it was a very solemn and poignant occasion which ran smoothly.”
Mildura musician Don Mayne played the Last Post on his bugle and following the conclusion of the service many people went to the RSL, where breakfast was served ahead of the march.
“We served more than 250 breakfasts, which was well within the club’s current COVID maximum capacity of 500,” Mr Mensch said.
A service was held at the war graves at the Nichols Point Cemetery at 8.30am, which was attended by students from St Joseph’s College who laid a poppy posy on each of the graves.
The traditional march got under way at 11am and made its way to Henderson Park for the commemorative service.
Guest speaker at the service was Commander Bronwyn Low, who is the niece of local WW2 veteran Jimmy Keppler, who took part in the march seated in an army jeep.
This year’s march also included many local ex-service personnel who had served in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.