Anzac Day idea shows true spirit amid Covid-19
IT was the epitome of the Anzac spirit when an Aussie veteran and a Kiwi cameraman joined forces to devise what is now set to be an innovative way to commemorate Anzac Day in the face of Covid-19.
Like many around the country, former Coffs parade marshall and ex-military man Scott Seccombe was left disappointed by the news that ceremonies would be cancelled due to the pandemic.
So he got onto his "Kiwi" friend Kyle Hands and, while sitting at a Chinese restaurant, the concept of Anzac 2020 Live was born.
"We were just two yobbos eating at a Chinese restaurant in Coffs when we thought there just had to be a way to bring Anzac Day to the community. We thought hey, why don't we try this?"
"We started to pull together this concept that was initially going to be local, but it just started to grow. We started getting interest from people all across Australia and even overseas," Scott said.
Anzac 2020 Live is a special Dawn Service that will be broadcast on the open Facebook group of the same name from 5.30am Saturday, but will be available to view at any time following the launch.
At the time of publishing the group has garnered more than 18,000 members and counting.
The project began on a local scale with the support of many including Mayor Denise Knight, but things have grown rapidly and now cameramen from all over Australia have become involved.
The Service will be made up of several prerecorded pieces featuring well-known names like Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, Jack Thompson and others who have declined to be credited but whose voices will be recognisable.
"It aims to be an inclusive event anyone can tune into, because there are people in aged care facilities and hospitals for example who are restricted and aren't able to stand in their driveway."
Scott said a huge amount of unseen footage had also been submitted from the public for the broadcast.
"Anzac Day is not only about remembering the sacrifices that have been made for our country, but also it's a reminder of the freedoms we now have and especially given the Covid-19 situation we shouldn't take them for granted."
The Facebook group Anzac 2020 Live is open and accessible to all Facebook users. Currently it features several preview snippets from Bob Payne, former RSL Sub Branch President, Mayor Denise Knight, Andrew Fraser, Ben Roberts-Smith and more.
Hundreds of posts from community members have been shared to the group, including personal stories and images.