Why this Anzac ritual should become a tradition
IT MAY have started as a substitute for public commemorations this year due to social distancing restrictions, but the popularity of a new Anzac Day ritual may stand the test of time.
Lockyer Valley Councillor Janice Holstein is eager to see Anzac Day participants walk to the end of their driveways at dawn, candle in hand, for years to come.
She said the ritual should not replace Anzac Day services but could complement them and provide a chance for more people to get involved.
“I think it gives an opportunity for people who may not ordinarily get to an Anzac Day service, whether it be because of young children or mobility issues,” Cr Holstein said.
“Even some elderly – who may be quite frail and aren’t able to walk very far – they might be able to get out into their driveway, they may feel like they’re participating.”
Cr Holstein and her family walked to the end of their driveway with candles at dawn on Anzac Day.
“I also talked my neighbour into helping me make paper poppies and early that morning we popped them out in front of the fence,” she said.
“The majority of my neighbours all stood in the driveway and one of them had the music playing on a portable speaker. It was really nice.”
She said more people than usual from wider demographics appeared to acknowledge Anzac history this year.
“I think a lot more people participated, possibly because it’s something new but I think they wanted to pay their respects,” Cr Holstein said.
“If this driveway ritual continues, perhaps it would build up more people acknowledging our Anzac history.”
Gatton RSL Sub-Branch president Steven Hartigan said he noticed the ritual had been very successful on his own street and said he didn’t have a problem with the idea becoming a tradition.
“As long as people are commemorating, it’s a fine idea,” Mr Hartigan said.
“For some, they’re not able to get to the dawn service but they are able to get to their driveway.”
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