Port Residents Commemorate ANZAC Day in Driveways

Commemorating ANZAC Day in their driveways at Soldiers Point were Navy Commander Lorrae, and Senior Instructor, Army Major David Rodley, Instructor at the Australian Defence Force Warfare Training Centre at RAAF Base Williamtown.


IN the early morning’s half-light Australian’s from around the country stood in solidarity, maintaining social distancing while commemorating the service of our ANZACS.

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This year it was not the marches, and the dawn services with our service men and women marching proudly and crowds cheering them on.

Rather our community came forth, young and old, at dawn and stood to attention in our driveways and on our balconies.

The eerie sounds of lone musicians playing the last post on all manner of instruments from brass to bagpipes could be heard across the region.

Children had spent many hours creating poppy’s which were placed on family lawns and the Australian flag was proudly raised in suburban streets in recognition of service and sacrifice.

It has been a year where service personnel have been called upon to serve at home.

They have served in communities ravaged by bushfire to evacuate those in peril, feed our burnt and starving wildlife and even perform the heart breaking task of burying the stock that were unable to escape the blazes.

On the other end of the spectrum they have been providing support in hospitals and working alongside our Police in the response to COVID-19.

Truly our service men and women have been seen serving at home in a way that they never have before, yet they are still serving around the world, in the middle east and delivering aid in the wake of natural disasters in the Pacific.

According to the records of the Australian War Memorial, over 61,000 Australians died in service during WWI and just under 40,000 in WWII and 521 during the Vietnam War, with 102,888 Australians making the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

There are currently has 1,667 veterans residing in Port Stephens.

Many of these veterans will miss their annual march, the time to talk to their mates, and of course their annual two up games.

Our current service men and women and their families also face many challenges.

Army Major David Rodley was on his driveway at 6am, in his service career he and his family have moved 15 times including two postings to the US, one to Antarctica early in his marriage, and he has also served in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Major David Rodley told News Of The Area, “We think Port Stephens will be our “forever” home, however this could change if we get another overseas posting.”

Kerri Rodley, his wife said, “Each time he has been deployed we have met up at “half time” once in Turkey where we visited Gallipoli, the second time was Greece.”

Raymond Terrace Veteran Bill Garrett told News Of The Area, “ Seeing everyone commemorate ANZAC Day today just proves that the spirit of ANZAC lives on.”

Bill signed up as an apprentice and served 25 years in the RAAF “Some of the best years of his life”.

A veteran himself, Shadow Minister for Veterans, Greg Warren has shared a powerful message “While you sit there locked away in the comfort of your home, think about how lucky you are to have a roof, not bullets, over your head.

“When you lie in the comfort of your warm bed, remember those brave Australians who took their last breath lying cold, bloodied and alone on the battlefields.

“It is our responsibility to remember them and to continue to tell the stories of the Anzacs for generations to come,” he said.

Lest We Forget.




In the driveway at Raymond Terrace. David Ramsay, Bill Garrett, Alek Miller. All Returned Servicemen.

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