Filmed Anzac service to fill gap
ANZAC Day holds a special place in the hearts of Australians, so the news that ceremonies were cancelled across the country came as a major blow for both ex-servicepeople and the general public.
However, former military man Scott Seccombe and local cameraman "Kiwi" Kyle Hands decided that just because gatherings weren't allowed didn't mean that Coffs would be without an Anzac Day service.
The duo formed the Facebook group ANZAC 2020 Live and will broadcast a dawn service from 5.30 on April 25. The 10-15-minute event will stay up so that it can be viewed at any time.
Scott will be well known to ex-servicepeople in the area as the parade marshall in Coffs Harbour for 14 years.
He said the idea was "all really conceptual" but they had wanted to produce something that could be viewed at 5.30am but would still be there later in the day so older veterans and people in nursing homes didn't have to get up too early and could still watch and be part of the ceremony.
"Then it really started to grow legs," he said, adding that many well-known locals including the Mayor had heard about the project and come on board, agreeing to record messages and parts of the ceremony.
Luckily for Kyle and Scott, most of the service was filmed before the isolating rules became too stringent.
Scott, who was in the army for eight and a half years and had deployment in Bosnia, said the whole event would be recorded but would not be available for viewing until 5.30am on Anzac Day.
He said anyone who wanted to take part in the event could join the Facebook group ANZAC 2020 Live.
Although the event was originally organised just for the Coffs area, the group formed on March 30, gained more than 5000 members in just nine days and was still growing as people looked for alternative ways to mark what Scott said was a "sacred day" for the community.