National

Anzac Day: 'Lest we forget Broome 2020'

Anzac Day: 'Lest we forget Broome 2020'

The Anzac spirit was kept alive in the North West this morning despite COVID-19 restrictions, as thousands of Kimberley and Pilbara residents lit a candle and stood silently in their driveways at dawn to honour those who fought for the nation.

A small wreath-laying ceremony with no audience in Broome was the only official ceremony held in a town that normally packs a crowd of 2000 into its Bedford Mark memorial site, but it did not stop community members young and old from paying their respects.

Local man Brad Smith also carved “lest we forget Broome 2020” into the sands of the iconic Cable Beach as the sun started to rise behind him, while bugle player Alison Howlett travelled around the town to play the Last Post.

Broome’s Jim Bartlett wears his two national service medals while on the roadside on Anzac Day morning.

Broome RSL sub-branch president Persine Ayensberg said it there was a poignant feeling around the driveway service and at Bedford Park this morning.

“Even though the people weren’t there, I felt the spirit and mateship being reflected through people doing individual commemoration,” she said.

“It was quite unreal in a way, it is a sense of patriotism and Australianism that people were embracing.”

More than 300 people also tuned into the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley’ live-streamed dawn service from the Kununurra Anzac Hill, while drone photographers Tyron Massara, Scott Connell and Chris Magnay captured the community’s driveway service efforts for the Follow the Sun project, which will see dozens of neighbourhoods across Australia and New Zealand recorded.

Kununurra RSL sub-branch president Michael Shortland said he was happy the town’s small service received a positive response from the community.

The sunrise was beautiful, it felt very solemn up there with not many people around, but for what it was and with the restrictions we had it was very special,” he said.

There was no formal processions in Port Hedland this morning, but that did not stop local man Frank Edwards from leading a solo service atop his horse, a tradition that has highlighted the Pilbara town’s Anzac events for 15 years.

Candles and homemade memorials covered Pilbara front yards and the Last Post blared over speakers as the community paid its respects, while handmade wreaths were placed along the fence of the Karratha RSL.

Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel said it was important residents never forget the Anzac tradition.