Residents mark Anzac Day like never before

Carisbrookʼs Corey Drake-Robertson was one of the Army Cadets who stood at Maryboroughʼs McLandress Square cenotaph during last yearʼs service and while he was unable to fulfil the duty this year he still donned his uniform and his great grandfatherʼs WWI and WWII medals, in a standing vigil at home.

Candles flickered to life and the sounds of the Last Post rang out across the Central Goldfields in the early hours of Saturday morning as residents gathered in their driveways to commemorate a truly unique Anzac Day.

With services around the state called off by RSL Victoria due to coronavirus restrictions, April 25 looked very different this year as local Dawn Services, marches and ceremonies were unable to go ahead.

Instead, community members lit candles to remember the sacrifice made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the First World War, taking to their porches and driveways at 6 am and 11 am.

Encouraged to play the Last Post, some of the shire’s musically talented residents picked up instruments including Maryborough’s Bradley Saul who was up at dawn to play the Last Post and brought out the bagpipes at 11 am to play Amazing Grace while neighbours watched on.

“Even though we couldn’t congregate together it was wonderful to see the streets lined with tribute candlelight vigils,” he said.

Saturday was just the second time in 104 years that Maryborough has gone without a service, with the community usually gathering for a Dawn Service at the McLandress Square cenotaph then again later in the morning for a march down High Street and a service involving school students, council administrators and guest speakers.

Seventeen-year-old Carisbrook resident Corey Drake-Robertson has been with Ballarat’s Army Cadets for the past four years and had the honour of standing guard with fellow cadets at the Maryborough cenotaph during last year’s Anzac Day service.

For more on this story see Page 5 of The Advertiser, Tuesday, April 28

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