*”At the going down of the sun, we will remember them.” (Photo: Daniella Scotti)
Three community radio stations in Bathurst have come together this Anzac Day for a joint service commemorating frontline heroes, past and present.
With traditional services brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic, it was considered fitting to not just honour the service of Australia’s Defence Forces, but to also dedicate a minute of silence to health workers.
“We’re encouraging our community to think beyond the veterans,” explained President of the Bathurst RSL Sub-branch David Mills.
“It is a time when we’ve got a lot of ordinary men and women doing some exceptional service at the moment. We are all sharing this conflict at the moment, a health and economic war… but we’ve got a heap of men and women who are in different uniforms.”
“They’re health workers, emergency workers, the first responders, police, ambos, firies and because of that I hope it’s the highest rating broadcast.”
2MCE, 2BS and B-Rock FM began today’s simulcast at 6am. It was also live-streamed on their respective Facebook pages and the B-Rock FM app. The seven-minute broadcast featured ‘The Last Post’, ‘The Ode’, ‘Reveille’, ‘The Lament’ and a special message from Bathurst MP Paul Toole.
2BS/B-Rock FM’s General Manager Janeen Hoseman’s organised the simulcast.
“This is a way of allowing people to commemorate in a socially distant way,” she said. “Under the current conditions, it invites people to commemorate what has historically been the most important day on our national calendar.”
“Radio is the most accessible medium for people… it’s not like you can lug your TV out to the farm.”
It’s the first time the three stations have synced transmissions.
“I think there’s a responsibility on radio in general to come together in times like this.”
Bathurst locals were encouraged to stand at their letterbox while holding a candle; “in many theatres of war, a letter home was what everybody wanted to receive.”
The regional city’s Anzac Day service usually attracts more than 2000 people, with 5000 attending centenary services in 2018.
David Mills says that COVID-19 has “knocked the sub-branch camaraderie around a little bit [but] these are men and women who understand that sacrifices have to be made.
— Daniella Scotti @daniella_scotti