By Justin Flynn
Anzac Day services will return to Ocean Grove later this month.
Ocean Grove/Barwon Heads RSL Sub-Branch voted to hold the services, however the march and commemorative service in Barwon Heads will not go ahead.
The Ocean Grove march will be restricted to veterans and first responders only with all participants needing to register beforehand.
Both the dawn and mid-morning services will be restricted to 1000 participants with everyone attending required to register as they enter Ocean Grove Park.
Ocean Grove/Barwon Heads RSL Sub-Branch secretary Richard Lewis said it was disappointing that Barwon Heads would be not able to hold any services.
“At Ocean Grove Park we can actually manage an area with entry and exit points,” he said.
“In Barwon Heads the march is straight down the main road and we do the service outside the hall.
“There is no way we can control the entry and exit points.”
Ocean Grove’s dawn service will commence at 6.15am with attendees asked to arrive by 5.45am.
The march will leave from The Terrace (outside Coles) at 9.45am and will conclude at the RSL Memorial in Ocean Grove Park followed by a commemorative service commencing at 10am.
Sign in sheets and QR Codes will be available at the various entry points.
Mr Lewis said last year’s COVID-inspired Light Up the Dawn idea where people remember our fallen Diggers from their home or street was a viable option for those who are unable to attend one of the services.
“There were an excessive number of people involved in it last year, far above what was predicted,” he said.
“So many people can do it from home. They don’t have to leave their residence. Last year we had whole streets or courts getting involved.”
Mr Lewis expects the 1000-person limit to be reached for the mid-morning service, but not for the dawn service.
TLC Aged Care and Sea Views Manor will hold their own services for residents.
Mr Lewis encouraged everyone to buy a badge or donate online to support our veterans.
Anzac Day badges will be available from the week prior to April 25 at the various stalls throughout Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. NewsXpress in Ocean Grove will also sell badges.