Airwaves to carry Anzac respects

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Testing . . . Gore RSA president Jarrad Scott is recording a message that will be part of a ceremony that will be broadcast on the radio on Anzac Day, from 7am. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

They will not see it, but Southern residents will be able to participate in a locally-produced Anzac Day ceremony by tuning into their radios.

Saturday’s broadcast on Hokonui Radio will start at 7am, and Gore Returned Services Association president Jarrad Scott said the normal features of an Anzac Day service would be on the airwaves.

Elements are being recorded today, including messages from Rev Bruce Cavanagh and himself, and the Ode of Remembrance.

The national anthem will be broadcast, as well as the Last Post.

“We wanted to keep it local,”said Mr Scott, who is also the RSA’s Otago-Southland president.

“I will be listening in at 7am and standing at the end of my driveway and it’s my dream to see other people doing the same.

“We’ve been locked up for the past four weeks and this is a good chance to get out of the house and reflect on what [the fallen] have done for us.”

The Gore effort will supplement the national drive to make sure Anzac Day does not get lost amid restrictions on gatherings that have been imposed in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

A nationally broadcast ceremony will start at 6am. New Zealanders have been encouraged to pay their respects this year in various ways, such as taking part in a moment’s silence, baking Anzac biscuits and creating window displays.

The RSA has run a “Stand at Dawn” promotion, asking New Zealanders to acknowledge the sacrifices of men and women in war by standing at dawn in their living rooms or driveways.

Dunedin RSA president Lox Kellas encouraged people to support the national campaign.

City of Dunedin Cadet Unit commander Captain Paul Booth said cadets would normally take part in parades, mingle with veterans and help raise money for Poppy Day.

Though they could not gather this year, he expected cadets would acknowledge the day in other ways.

Mr Scott was not letting the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to local efforts to acknowledge the fallen.

“We’ve had a local service here for 104 years.

“We’re trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation.”