Lest we infect

The RSLWA is encouraging continued driveway dawn services, like the one in this 2020 photo from The Baysie Iso Life exhibition.

THE Anzac Day dawn service in Kings Park will be a small, invitation-only event this year to protect veterans from covid-19.

The RSLWA announced “In line with the current covid-19 pandemic climate, RSLWA has had to make the difficult decision not to deliver the traditional Kings Park Dawn Service and remove public participation for 2022”.

A live radio commemorative service will instead be broadcast for people to participate in their own Driveway Dawn Services, “to protect our more vulnerable veterans,” the RSLWA says.

The Anzac Day Parade will go ahead starting from the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace at 9am, but the RSLWA says it is “encouraging people to only attend as observers if they have friends or relatives marching”.

This year Perth council voted to give $150,000 funding for those Anzac Day events along with the Perth Concert Hall commemorative service and the Gunfire Breakfast.

The funding rationale report said “the Anzac Day activities are of social importance to the city and attracts visitation on a public holiday. There is also potential to have a positive economic impact on City businesses, specifically coffee shops and food and beverage outlets”.

At the April 19 council briefing, lord mayor Basil Zempilas said the King’s Park service being capped “is a little unfortunate obviously because we would like to have seen big numbers return to King’s Park” but he looked forward to representing the council there.

Mr Zempilas addressed the RSLWA’s request that only friends or relatives of marchers attend the CBD parade, and said he was still hopeful of a good turnout: “Certainly I know from people that I have spoken to, is that a large number are planning to be in the city again for the Anzac Day parade,” he said.

“And we look forward to welcoming all of the veterans, and all of those marching, those family members, etcetera, who march on behalf of those who served, we look forward to welcoming them all to the city.”

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