Remembering war dead slightly trickier during a pandemic
REMEMBRANCE Day will be commemorated in Ballina this year, with specific changes designed for the safety of veterans and the general public.
The Ballina RSL sub-Branch will be conducting a Remembrance Day Commemoration Service and wreath-laying ceremony at the RSL Memorial, in Memorial Park at the river end of Grant St in Ballina.
The service will commence at 10:45am, pausing for a minute of silence at 11am.
Ballina RSL sub-branch president Dick Wills said the sub-branch will be setting up a cordoned-off area at the park for Ballina RSL sub-branch members and their family, invited dignitaries, other RSL and ex-service organisation members and their families.
"This area will be socially spaced and all persons entering the area will be required to record the names and contact details for contact tracing if required," he said.
"Due to the number restriction, this area is only available to persons who have booked a seat with the Ballina RSL sub-branch, it is not available to the public."
"Commemorations for our serving and ex-service navy, Army and air force personnel may be different this year, but next Wednesday will still be Remembrance Day irrespective of the COVID-19 virus."
Mr Wills hoped such restrictions won't be necessary in the future.
"It is my sincere wish that I never again have to separate the RSL or any other ex-service organisation from the public citizens on commemoration days at the Ballina RSL Memorial," he said.
" The sub-branch is the memorial's custodian, but the memorial belongs to and is there for the use of the Ballina and visiting community.
"Next Wednesday, I encourage all citizens to pause in remembrance of the fallen, the sick and the bereaved, for one minute at 11am, whether at or near to Memorial Park, noting the COVID-19 social distancing and mingling restrictions, or to visit at any other time on Wednesday or other days."
The Alstonville RSL Sub-Branch will be conducting a regular commemorative service in Elizabeth Ann Brown Park, Alstonville, on that day, commencing at 10.30am.
"All COVID19 rules will be observed including sign in sheets and marshals", said Alstonville RSL Sub Branch honorary secretary John Gordon.
RSL NSW also launched its Remember To Remember campaign ahead of Remembrance Day, urging Australians to pause for one minute wherever they may be this November 11 at 11am.
For the first time in 99 years, the traditional Poppy Appeal will move moved online, while services including at the Sydney Cenotaph will be streamed for the community.
The main national website for the RSL this Remembrance Day, including the virtual Poppy Appeal, is remembertoremember.com.au.