Residents light up the dawn for a different Anzac Day

IN AN absence of services or marches, the Anzac Day experience was a starkly different one this year.

But the public health restrictions didn't stop Australians from paying their respects on Saturday morning.

Among those who found different ways to commemorate were Reverends Phil and Greer Dokmanovic.

The Brunswick Heads couple, who run the Byron Shire Uniting Churches, held a brief service from their driveway for neighbours to observe.

Rev Phil played The Last Post and Reveille as neighbours gathered with candles outside their homes.

Always involved in Anzac Day, Rev Phil said it was important for his family to do what they could to pay their respects.

"For me, it's always been part of life, to be thankful, to remember the courage and sacrifice of the Anzacs," Rev Phil said.

The Dokmanovics undertook a letterbox drop to let the neighbourhood know what they'd be doing.

Nearby residents welcomed the Dokmanovic's efforts to bring a service to their front doors.

Chloe Cumdy said she was pleased to be able to mark Anzac Day, despite the many restrictions in place. She said the gesture from the Dokmanovics was "a treat".

Cassandra Bennett also welcomed the effort.

"It was a beautiful experience in these times, when we can't go to the service," she said.

Carol White hoped the bugle could be heard all across town, while Stewart White said it was "a brilliant idea".

Some community members quietly laid wreaths at public memorials and cenotaphs, while the public were encouraged to stream the National Commemorative Service from the Australian War Memorial while supporting the #lightthedawn initiative.

Byron Shire Council general manager Mark Arnold said in an online statement while the council "supports all measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic in our community" it was "so very disappointing" no public commemorations could be held this year.

He said while the community could not be present together as it usually is, "you can be sure our Servicemen and women will be in our thoughts".

"In lieu of laying a wreath this year, Council has made a donation to the ANZAC Day appeal 2020, via the RSL NSW website," he said.


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