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21 April 2021
Words Simone Worthing
Commemorating Anzac Day had always been part of life for Salvos officer (pastor) Captain Amy Jones. She grew up going to the annual dawn service and the parade with her dad, hearing the local Salvation Army band play and enjoying the traditional ‘gunfire’ breakfasts.
As a Salvos pastor, Amy continued to attend and participate in services each April.
Last year, when public Anzac Day commemorations were cancelled during the pandemic, Amy picked up on the suggestion that people light a candle in their driveways instead.
“I thought this was a brilliant idea, but that we could take it further,” she said. “I had resources collected over the years for putting together a dawn service, and I immediately wanted to adapt those and make them available to the wider community so they could have a similar experience at home.”
Amy, who leads the Wonthaggi Salvos in Victoria, enlisted the assistance of a “talented local graphics designer” and put together a combination of her own resources, and those she found via the Department of Defence and Google, that people could use at home. These included prayers, the Ode, readings and music.
“I shared some of these on our local community Facebook page and got a positive response,” she said. “Some people asked to send these to other communities, so it was great to see them being used far and wide.”
Amy stood in her driveway on 25 April, in her Salvos uniform, with the Ode and other printed resources ready to read. “The televised national service was playing in the background and I read along to that as well,” she said. “Up and down my street, neighbours were doing the same, and we all felt connected as we shared these moments together.”
This year, these resources, and others, are available online.
“Even though many services will go ahead this year, some people will still prefer to commemorate at home,” said Amy. “There are also those in nursing homes, unwell, or in other circumstances that can’t get out who may like to use these.
“It’s important that we continue to teach our young people about the sacrifices made for us all so we can live in freedom the way we do.”
The resources can be downloaded here.