Modified Anzac Day - march, but no dawn service in Sale

The 2019 Anzac Day service in Sale.
The 2019 Anzac Day service in Sale.

SALE RSL has been working behind the scenes to plan a modified commemoration of Anzac Day in Sale, which will this year not include a dawn service.

Because of the need to meet state government COVID-safe requirements the Sale RSL and Community Sub-Branch will facilitate three of the usual four events on behalf of the local Sale community.

The events include the Sale War Cemetery service from 9am; the Sale march from about 10.30am; and the Sale main service at the Sale Cenotaph which will begin about 10.45am.

Sale RSL president Marty Tanzer said it had been a tough decision to not conduct a formal dawn service this year.

"We understand that some people will be disappointed at this decision, but we believe that in the current climate it is appropriate," he said.

"Sale RSL encourages people to stand in their driveways, as they did last year at dawn, to remember all those who have served."

Mr Tanzer said every event conducted by Sale RSL this year on Anzac Day would be limited by COVID restrictions requirements, and COVID safe plans have been submitted and approved for each event.

"At each event QR codes and sign-in sheets will be provided to enable people to register to meet contact tracing requirements," he said.

"There will also be a requirement to establish access and egress points at the War Cemetery service and the main service.

"It is incumbent on the Sale RSL, as the organiser of the 2021 Anzac Day events in Sale, to provide the facilities for contact tracing."

Mr Tanzer said hand sanitiser would be available at each event, and people attending would be encouraged to use it when they arrived.

"At each event, there will also be a requirement for people to adhere to COVID social distancing requirements," he added.

Traditionally at the Sale Anzac Day main service many local organisations have laid wreaths to remember those who served.

This year, Mr Tanzer said, wreath laying would need to be kept to a minimum at the main service and would be restricted to government representatives and ex-service organisations.

"However, the Sale RSL encourages other organisations and anyone else who wants to lay a wreath or floral tribute, to attend the Sale Cenotaph at sometime during the day, outside of the main service time, to lay a wreath or floral tribute," he said.

"Alternatively, wreaths or floral tributes can be laid at the Memorial Wall and the Long Tan Cross at the Sale RSL and Community Club and at the Remembrance Cross at the Sale War Cemetery."

The number of people able to attend the Sale RSL and Community Club this year will also be limited by COVID requirements to a maximum of 260 at any one time.

To help meet this requirement, Australian Defence Force members, veterans and RSL members and their family members will have priority to attend on the day.

People from those groups must pre-register attendance with the club by phoning 5144 2538.

Mr Tanzer said there would also be no gunfire breakfast at the Sale RSL this year.

However Sale RSL will open at 8am on Anzac Day. Bacon and egg rolls will be available from that time (cost will be $5) and other snack food such as chips, pies, sandwiches, and so on, will be available for buy during the day after the march and the main service.

"We have also sought approval to conduct two-up on the day as well," Mr Tanzer added.

He appealed to the Sale community for their cooperation and assistance for this Anzac Day.

"We will all need to improvise, adapt and overcome to ensure that we hold respectful and appropriate 2021 Anzac Day events to remember all those who served - particularly those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for Australia," Mr Tanzer said.

"We are obligated to remember the 158 men and women listed on the Boer War Memorial and the Sale Cenotaph from the two world wars, plus all those who have given their lives in war, on operations and in peacetime since the end of World War 2."

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