No march for diggers creates unrest

No march for diggers creates unrest

Flashback to 2019: Tge last time a dawn service procession was held at Armadale.

There has been a rising tide of anger from some parts of the community at the absence of an ANZAC day march in the City of Armadale.

The Dawn Service and gunfire breakfast is organised by the Armadale RSL Sub-Branch each year.

A march from the RSL to Memorial Park before the Dawn Service was traditionally part of the commemoration, but the last ANZAC march held in the City of Armadale was in 2019.

Community members have called the Examiner to express their disgust that neighbouring local government areas held marches, but City of Armadale locals were unable to show their respect by marching in their own town.

Some pointed fingers at the council, accusing them of being unwilling to help fund the half-day road closures needed for the march to proceed.

But Armadale RSL Sub-Branch president Ken Hepburn said while the fee to close the road for the march is exorbitant, quoting a figure of $16,000, they were eligible to receive grant funding from Lotterywest to cover the cost.

He explained that there simply wasn’t sufficient interest shown in holding a march by veterans and sub-branch members.

“We asked our service members and they said they didn’t want to march,” he said.

“It’s a fair hike from the RSL up the hill to the cenotaph, and the average age of Vietnam vets is between 75 and 80.

“If the public energy was there to hold a march, it would be something we would seriously look at.

“But if no one turns up to our meetings and expresses interest, then we can’t plan one in future.”

City of Armadale CEO Joanne Abbiss said they had an “excellent working relationship with the RSL”.

“The city continues to support the RSL to hold the ANZAC Day event in Memorial Park, including providing chairs, port-a-loos, lighting and filling the Hostile Mitigation Barriers with water,” she said.

“Many different departments within the City of Armadale including Parks, Property Services, Health, Waste and Administration assist the RSL in order to ensure the success of their ANZAC Day service.”