The remnants of COVID-19 restrictions still linger here at Mountain View – and in the wider community. With the Anzac Day march cancelled again this year, Anzac Day 2021 was almost a replica of 2020.
Neighbours gathered in driveways with lighted candles and remembered brave men and women who have served in wars past and present.
Russell, assisted by Jim, organised a beautiful Dawn Service at the flagpole.
Georgina had placed candles around the flagpole, and residents gathered with their own candles to remember Veterans, past and present, on this special day.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests were invited to have tea, coffee and Anzac Biscuits in the Community Centre, organised by Georgina, with the assistance of Coral.
As well as those who attended driveway ceremonies, there was a significant number of Veterans at our Dawn Service.
The highlight for me was a chat with Audrey, after the Service.
Audrey is in her nineties, but she still remembers some of the better times of serving in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) during World War II.
She told me that enlisting was exciting for her, and the girls she served with. But like the words in the Redgum song, ‘she was only nineteen’, and it was the first time she (and others) had lived away from family. It was a time of camaraderie and friendship.
Then, as now, Audrey was petite, and she told of her disappointment in not having a uniform for the first few weeks because they didn’t have one to fit her; her uniform had to be specially made.
She also told of the excitement that surged through the Base in Melbourne when cigarettes were in stock in the Canteen. She would rush down there with the other girls and hand over sixpence for a packet of Craven “A”. But Audrey laughed when she explained that she doesn’t smoke now and she didn’t smoke then; she was just caught up in the excitement.
Audrey’s job was in Signals; she would type out the Morse Code that relayed information about the movement of planes.
They deserve our ongoing gratitude.
We not only remember and honour Veterans like Audrey on Anzac Day, but every day that we wake up in our democratic nation, in relative peace.
It is with gratitude that we thank:
- Russell – for organising the Dawn Service for Anzac Day 2021
- Jim – for assisting Russell at the Dawn Service
- Georgina – for organising the candles, seating and refreshments
- Coral – for making and serving tea and coffee
- Marilyn – for allowing the use of her wall-hanging for the Ceremony
- Our Veterans – for proudly wearing their medals and attending the Dawn Service
- Our Residents – for braving the chilly morning to attend the Dawn Service for Anzac Day 2021 at Mountain View
- All Veterans and Serving Members – past, present and future