Restrictions force limits on Anzac Day service

Unfortunately due to COVID there will be no Anzac Day march in 2021.
Unfortunately due to COVID there will be no Anzac Day march in 2021.

The Canowindra RSL sub-Branch has been forced to make the disappointing decision to limit this year's Anzac Day commemorations to 150 people.

Canowindra RSL sub-Branch Secretary, Christine McIlvain, said COVID safety planning had limited what can be done.

"This year we've been limited by the two square metre rule which means we'll have a strict limit of 150 designated seats in Memorial Park," she said.

As well as the limited numbers, there will also be a few changes to the day overall.

While in a normal year there would be a Dawn Service, March and main Service, this year there will be a small Dawn Service, but the March has been cancelled and the main Service will be condensed.

Mrs McIlvain said while it would be ideal to have a full day of commemorations it wasn't possible.

"The most important thing is for people to able to observe the day and to pay their respects," she said.

She said the program for the day will consist of a small Dawn Service at 6am and the main Service at 11am in Memorial Park. The main Service will be shorter to limit the time people are gathered.

Due to COVID restrictions, the Canowindra RSL sub-Branch encourage local residents to participate in 'Light Up the Dawn' which was introduced last year.

This year's main Service will be a ticketed event and, for those wishing to attend, tickets are free and available from the Canowindra News Agency or the Services and Citizen Club but they are strictly limited to 150.

Tickets will be available from both businesses from tomorrow.

"We'd like ticket holders for the main Service to arrive around 10.30am to facilitate COVID check-ins before the Service," Ms McIlvain said.

"Ticket holders with wreaths to lay will need to have their names marked off at the main gate to the park, while the two other entrances will be for those ticket holders without wreaths.

"Gaskill Street will be closed from 10.45am to 11.45am between Blatchford Street and Ferguson Street, this will allow space for those without tickets to stand outside Memorial Park while social distancing.

"There's also nothing stopping people laying a wreath anytime later in the day with the park being open compared to last year."

This April also marks 100 years since the establishment of the Canowindra RSL sub-Branch.

"We were hoping to celebrate this milestone with the Canowindra community on Anzac Day but due to the current situation this plan has been put on hold," she said.

"We are disappointed that we can't celebrate but we will hopefully celebrate our anniversary in 2022."

Due to the ongoing nature of COVID restrictions the sub-Branch's plans are open to change.

Those with queries can contact Christine McIlvain at canowindraSB@rslnsw.org.au or by phone on 6344 2916.