Anzac Day spirit just as strong
While Anzac Day will not be the same this year, Albany RSL sub-branch leaders say the organisation has done everything in its power to keep the traditions and spirit alive on Saturday.
“We’ve done our best to make sure that there are simple ceremonies that commemorate such an important day in our calendar,” Albany RSL president and SASR veteran Laurie Fraser said.
“But when you consider the amount of work that goes into organising Anzac Day and then suddenly having the rug pulled out from under our feet, it was quite depressing.
“Certainly our services director Michael Tugwell has really put his heart and soul into the organisation, and he’s done a great job in coming up with ideas.”
It will be 50 years on Saturday since Albany RSL services director Michael Tugwell proudly stood on York Street as a high school army cadet.
“I can recall being here with all the other cadets — being the air force cadets and the navy cadets — with our .303 rifles, and the then WWII Korean veterans and so on running the services,” he said.
“This was the centre of the universe, as such, for Anzac Day.”
Mr Tugwell said this would be the first time the main RSL Anzac Day commemoration had been held on York Street since the Anzac Peace Park opened a decade ago.
“According to convention, we would hold our service down at the Peace Park, however this year, due to the issues of the coronavirus, the key element will be held here at the York Street War Memorial,” he said.
Four wreaths will be laid around Albany on behalf of the community — by Mr Fraser, Albany RSL vice-president Roger Smith, a member of the 10th Light Horse Association, and a member of the Nurses Remembrance Association.
Mr Fraser backed the driveway at dawn movement and praised the community for coming up with their own ways to pay their respects.
“All in all, it will be a very different Anzac Day,” he said.
“I think we’ll probably miss the veterans getting together for a beer afterwards.”
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