THE Bicton Palmyra RSL hasn’t let the national cancellation of Anzac services daunt it, turning to modern technology to live stream its driveway dawn service on April 25.
Volunteer Margaret Irvine said linking students from Bicton Primary School, local musicians and the community through a streamed event had been a wonderful opportunity, but had presented some challenges to the sub-branch’s older committee members.
“We came up with the idea to set up a Facebook event to get music and get more of the community involved,” Ms Irvine said.
“If kids can play in the driveway, why can’t we do a service?”
But when she pitched the idea to sub-branch president Kevin Hastie, the technology required was a battle he wasn’t prepared to take on, and he asked her to organise things.
Ms Irvine watched tutorials and self-taught herself to stream a live Facebook feed.
“Through trial and error, testing apps and musicians, with different rooms and phones; it has been interesting,” she said.
The streamed event will start at 5.50am with a welcome and poem, one minute’s silence at 6am and then local musicians and speeches will follow before it all wraps up at 8am.
The sub-branch is encouraging people to stand at the end of their driveway with a candle to commemorate past and present servicemen and women.
“The main focus of the event is to continue keeping the community spirit of Anzac Day in hearts and minds,” Ms Irvine said.
She said a beautiful part about it is encouraging people to draw or make poppies and decorate their lawns and windows with them.
“We call it the Poppy Project,” she said. “We want to turn Bicton into a giant field of poppies.”
Over in Fremantle, Postbox Poppies founder Vicky Pellowe started her campaign to show people can still commemorate in a different way.
“I heard the Anzac ceremonies would have to be cancelled and that broke my heart,” she said. “I thought it would be amazing for everyone to line the streets with up-cycled poppies this year, to show their support and remembrance.”
Postbox Poppies focuses on getting creative with materials you have around the home for making poppies to display around your house.
“You use what you have, so you stay at home,” she said. “It gives people an opportunity to partake in Anzac Day, despite the circumstances we’re in.”
With social distancing restrictions in place, the Bicton Palmyra RSL has been overwhelmed by the community support for its event.
“This is the time when you see communities pull together to do something great,” Ms Irvine said.
Ian Walker, a local musician who volunteered his time, said he is proud of the opportunity he and his band, Thistledoo, has to play for the service.
“Anzac Day is an important day in Australian culture,” he said. “It represents the coming together as a nation to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Local Bicton MLA Member Lisa O’Malley said the world has been turned upside down due to circumstances: “It might be different, but that doesn’t diminish the value of Anzac Day.”
by DEANNA CORRIERI