Thank you to all those who woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to participate in the ANZAC Day At Home Dawn Service. It was truly moving to see so many people in the community get involved in different ways and pay their respects to all those who served our country.
Up here on the Gold Coast, each of our staff members and even some of our Kokoda Kids showed their respects at home alongside their families;
In the lead up to ANZAC Day, our Kokoda Kids would usually be preparing themselves to complete their most significant day of their community service requirements by helping out at the Currumbin RSL after the dawn service on ANZAC Day. However, given the disruption to all events as a result of the COVID-19 virus, they instead paid their respects by lighting a candle and heading out onto their driveways dressed in their KCYP uniforms to show their respects to our ANZACs.
This was followed by hand writing letters to veterans which they delivered to their local RSL to hopefully bring a smile to all those veterans who are still around today and to thank them for their service.
Over at our Chairman Doug Henderson’s house in Carrara, he and his wife Anna, along with all of their neighbours, headed out onto their street with a candle and bowed their heads in silence to the sounds of The Last Post blaring from within their homes. As some of you may already know, Doug served in Vietnam and was therefore dressed in his uniform, bearing his medals while standing there in a hand-salute.
Over at our COO Johlene’s house, herself, her husband and her four children lit a candle at the end of their driveway and were joined by their neighbours, some of them from their balconies on the second story of their homes, and others at the end of their driveway too with The Last Post playing in the background.
Our Administration Manager Joy also woke up at the crack of dawn to join some of her fellow neighbours in their complex to pay their respects by holding a candle too.
Our Marketing Manager Jessica is fortunate enough to live within walking distance to the beach, so herself and her two roommates added a sprig of rosemary to their lapel, took a Bluetooth speaker to the beach and joined hundreds of other Gold Coast locals who had lit a candle on the sand to show their respects while watching the sun rise over the sea. Some were proudly waving Australian flags and others even played marching drums. There were two World War II-era fighters that flew over Gold Coast beaches despite health officials advising that the annual flyover was advised not to proceed to avoid spectators gathering in mass. The two pilots had however announced that “no one was going to let us not do it”.
Even some of our Kokoda community down in Melbourne went out to the end of their driveways at dawn, one reporting back to us that their neighbour was handing out homemade ANZAC biscuits to all those who made the effort to pay their respects during ANZAC Day morning.
Wherever in Australia you were and however you chose to pay your respects, this ANZAC Day was particularly emotional for most and really set in the significance of ANZAC Day as nothing was going to stop the community from showing their gratitude to all those who served. The 2020 ANZAC Day At Home Dawn Service will certainly go down in history as one like no other before and we are so very proud to see so many members of our Kokoda community get involved.
As the COVID-19 restrictions slowly start to ease following the announcement from the Queensland Government that locals are allowed to start enjoying some recreational activities within 50kms of their home, we are starting to see some normalcy return to everyday life and we look forward to seeing the faces of our Kokoda community soon.