May 30, 2020

Lest we forget – ‘Stand at Dawn’ call on Anzac Day

Hamilton City Council is supporting the ‘Stand at Dawn’ campaign, initiated by the Royal New Zealand Returned Services Association (RSA) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), to mark Anzac Day while in lockdown.

For the first time since Anzac Day was introduced in 1916, memorial services across New Zealand are cancelled, to keep our community safe during COVID-19.

Anzac Day
‘Lest We Forget’ (Photo courtesy: HCC)

To ensure our tradition of commemorating our veterans and service personnel is carried out despite the lockdown, ‘Stand at Dawn’ is asking Kiwis to gather in their bubbles at 6am on Anzac Day to pay their respects.

The RSA and NZDF are suggesting people ‘Stand at Dawn’ at their letterbox, front door, in their lounge rooms, balconies, or driveway. However, if residents are doing so outdoors in their neighbourhoods, they need to stay within their bubble and maintain physical distancing from other bubbles.

Encouraging residents to ‘Stand at Dawn’, Hamilton Mayor, Paula Southgate says while many people will be upset to miss the traditional Dawn and Civic parades, this was “the best possible compromise”.

To protect the wellbeing of the community, Hamiltonians should not move around the city to mark Anzac Day, Mayor Southgate said.

“Even if a memorial site is in your neighbourhood, please stay at your house, stand at dawn and do your part to keep people safe.”

While understanding the disappointment that Anzac Day has to be cancelled, Hamilton RSA President Jan Luttrell says: “Many families are putting pictures of poppies in their windows and some have been uploaded to the Hamilton RSA Facebook page. That’s so heart-warming to see and we really appreciate that interaction.”