Living Choice Kawana Island resident, Jake Jacobsen, has called on residents at all Living Choice villages to support RSL Australia’s call to mark this year’s ANZAC Day in a unique way.
With the cancellation of traditional ANZAC Day services due to the COVID-19 restrictions, RSL Australia has urged everyone to stand in their driveway, on their balcony or in their living room at dawn and remember all those who have served and sacrificed for their country.
Jake, who saw active service in both Malaysia and Vietnam, said Justin Wilbur from Ballarat, the son of a war veteran, had come up with the idea of everyone standing at their front doors at dawn on 25 April with a candle. The idea has rapidly gained traction and has been embraced by all State RSLs. Jake thought it was a great idea and put out the call to fellow Kawana Island residents to gather in their driveways or northern balconies at 5.45am.
Now he is encouraging all Living Choice residents to do the same at their villages at dawn (the RSL Australia website states 6am). “Social distancing would be maintained, and it would contribute towards building community spirit,” he said.
Many residents will remember Jake from the 2014 Scootarbor Challenge, when he and Broadwater Court resident, Wendy Travers, were part of a group of intrepid over-65s who completed an adventurous, 2,400km scooter ride across South Western Australia’s Nullarbor Plain. They raised funds for mental health advocacy organisation, beyondblue, an organisation that is close to his heart.
The RSL says that in these troubled times, it’s fitting that Australians are once again relying on the qualities of the ANZAC Spirit - mateship, humour, ingenuity, courage and endurance - to get them through. “In the current climate, we’re reminding Australians that we all bear these qualities within us, ready to come to the fore when we need them.”
The ABC will be broadcasting Anzac Day events that the public are unable to attend due to the coronavirus restrictions, including the Australian War Memorial’s annual Anzac Day service. The service will form part of a live ABC broadcast, starting with coverage of the National Ceremony from 5am.