Anzac Day 2021 will start at sunrise in Sandgate after a year of uncertainty, increased welfare and enduring mateship. This year will be a little different for Sandgate RSL Sub Branch, with events being held in a similar format to official ceremonies in Brisbane and Canberra.
There will only be one main service this year – the 5am Dawn Service in Sandgate Memorial Park, followed by a march starting at 9.15am from Second Avenue, going past a saluting dais, and finally dispersing at Fifth Avenue. Afterwards, service and ex-service members will be invited back to the sub branch.
Sandgate RSL Sub Branch president Paddy Evans said they wanted to ensure older members felt safe and confident to attend Anzac Day events this year.
“We are still concerned about the COVID environment and want to go ahead with certainty,” Paddy said.
“It’s good we can get back together again, and our preference is for people to come here rather than their driveways.
“The big thing to emphasise is there is only one service running this year.”
The pandemic was particularly tough for the sub branch – as the world locked down, people were
scared to leave their houses and welfare ramped up.
Sub branch secretary Andrew Law said some people hadn’t wanted to ask for help, so sub branch members had had to physically get in behind doors and deliver welfare where it was needed.
“Going forward we’ve managed to identify those veterans who needed help and it’s ongoing; every couple of months we will drop in and see them,” Andrew said.
The sub branch enlisted the help of the community, businesses, and the Veterans Motorcycle Club, who were incredibly valuable during the pandemic.
A number of younger and new members have since joined the sub branch as they endeavour to continue supporting each other, utilising the Anzac spirit.
Members catch up socially on the first Friday of the month along with other regular meetings.
Sunday, 25 April, 2021
Sandgate Memorial Park
Dawn Service (only service): 5am
Parade: 9.15am start – marching from Second Avenue, down Brighton Road to Fifth Avenue. March for serving and ex-serving members, schools, community groups, vintage cars, and the Light Horse Association.