Anzac spirit shines on

• Vietnam veteran and president of Friends of Anzac Cottage Peter Ramsay addressing a virtual audience across the globe.

WHEN a snap lockdown cancelled Anzac Day commemorations, the Friends of Anzac Cottage had just 27 hours to pull together a replacement virtual service.

The Kalgoorlie Street cottage was all ready for its April 25 service having chosen a theme reflecting 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust, when lockdown hit on Friday afternoon. 

FoAC secretary Anne Chapple tells us they were slightly daunted by the news, but felt it was their duty to hold a service so the community could pay their respects. 

The cottage itself was built in one day back in 1916, and FoAC now had just a few hours more to pull it together. 

A flurry of phone calls followed as planned guest speakers were contacted to remotely film speeches from FoAC patron Bob Kucera, federal Perth MP Patrick Gorman, and veteran Ian Healy. 

“This format is obviously not as we planned it over the past two weeks,” veteran Peter Ramsay addressed the virtual crowd.

“It is the determination and the commitment to progress exhibited by the community led by the Mount Hawthorn Progress Association back in 1916 when they built the cottage in one day that drives us, the Friends of Anzac Cottage… we meet challenges head on, as I’ve said many times before, if we can’t find a way over around the obstruction, then just blow a hole in it.”

When the sunset service aired people tuned in from the eastern states, UK and New Zealand. The footage is up on the the Friends of Anzac Cottage Facebook page and has been donated to the State Library of WA for archiving.

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