Invercargill Anzac Day dawn service cancelled

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    THE Anzac Day traditional dawn service in Invercargill is cancelled this year due to the increasing numbers of Omicron in the community.

    Invercargill RSA secretary Cindy Kennedy said despite the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, they decided to cancel the traditional event at the Cenotaph as a way to protect members of the community.

    ‘‘This decision has not been made lightly, but we strongly believe that it is best to be cautious during this pandemic.’’

    She said the cancellation of Invercargill’s Anzac Day event would not diminish the remembrance of the city’s fallen and returned soldiers.

    Invercargill RSA and Awarua RSA would be encouraging people to honour the date with a Stand at your Gate’ service from their homes instead.

    A pre-recorded service would be streamed for all in Southland and, as happened in 2020 — when Anzac Day parades across the country were cancelled due to the lockdown — people
    would be asked to stand at their gates at home to remember the fallen, she said.

    They were also encouraging people to place poppies on their fences, windows and paddocks during the month of April and at the Cenotaph.

    ‘‘We want to keep everyone safe and the idea is to avoid larger gatherings.

    ‘‘Everyone can place their poppies at the Cenotaph in their own time.’’

    She said Anzac Day was a very sacred day for New Zealand as a whole and the importance of the day would continue.

    ‘‘We wish it to remain known as a day to commemorate and acknowledge the bravery and sacrifices of thousands of New Zealanders.’’

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