CJNews has again provided images for StarNews local paper in Dandenong/Noble Park.
Copy by By Gabriella Payne
In a year like no other, many events were forced to change or go virtual due to Covid-19, and annual Remembrance Day services around Melbourne proved no exception.
Despite restrictions, the Noble Park RSL banded together to hold a meaningful service as they do every year on the 11th of November, paying their respects to Australia’s fallen service men and women.
Although they were only allowed a maximum of ten people at this year’s ceremony, Noble Park RSL president John Meehan said that “it was just beautiful to even be able to do it on such a smaller basis”.
Mr Meehan said that this year had been hard on everyone and the RSL would have loved to have been allowed more people, “but we battled on and [overall] people were very pleased”.
Despite being more “restrained” than previous years, the ceremony went well, being held just outside the front doors of the RSL where wreaths were laid, odes and poems were read and a moment of silence was held at 11am, like usual.
“We nearly did everything that we do on a full scale, except for the numbers of people,” Mr Meehan said.
As a trumpet played The Last Post, those in attendance took a moment to reflect on not only Australia’s fallen war heroes, but of those people lost during this difficult year.
“We’ve lost five members of our RSL, five Vietnam veterans in the last three months,” Mr Meehan said.
“It feels like a gap, you know these beautiful men have gone and maybe they would have gone if it wasn’t all closed down anyway, but it just seems to be a hell of a loss and it’s a very sad time for us.”
Whilst it has been a tough year, Mr Meehan said it was great to see restrictions beginning to ease and to be able to come together as a community once again, remembering all those who had fallen.
“We were feeling for them as for all the people who have given up their lives, sacrificed their lives for the betterment of us Australians,” he said.
Along with ANZAC Day and Vietnam Veterans Day, Mr Meehan said that Remembrance Day was “essential” and “at the heart of the RSL”.
With things slowly returning to normal and venues and associations reopening, Mr Meehan encouraged people to come down to the Noble Park RSL for a meal or a chat, where it’s not just for members but “welcome to one and all”.