News Story

Anzac Commemorations Across Macarthur

The Anzac spirit was evident across neighbourhoods in Macarthur, Sydney, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined their neighbours in paying tribute in new and meaningful ways.

Unable to attend the local dawn service and head to the city to march with the Fleet Air Arm, Chris Rowan and his wife Marilyn, stood at the end of their driveway with candles lit. Chris, having served in the Navy for five years maintaining jet fighter bombers and anti-submarine helicopters, proudly wore his father's medal.


Chris and Marilyn's heartfelt sentiment for Anzac Day was made more profound due to their family heritage of servicemen. Chris recalled, "My father served in the Navy in WWII and my grandfather served in Europe in WWI, wounded in France, recuperated in England and then sent back to the front line."

Marilyn's father served in WWII and her great uncle fought at Gallipoli. She reflected, “When our children were at home, Chris and the boys would go to the RSL (Returned and Services League) after the dawn service, to listen to the old soldiers tell their stories. It's given them a great appreciation for the sacrifices that have been made, so that they can live in a peaceful and free country."

Similarly, the Braden and Naomi Murrin family shared a wonderful, moving service. Braden Murrin recounted, “[Listening to the ABC App] we walked ten minutes to the top of our driveway and at 5.55am, after the Last Post was played, [we] laid our wreath (lovingly made of egg cartons) on our letterbox. Following our breakfast of pancakes made in our outdoor kitchen, we'll be making Anzac biscuits on the BBQ."

Anzac Day 2020 will be a day the Croft family will never forget. Valentina and Andrew Croft shared, "This time, gratitude and reverence took on another meaning. Instead of crowds of hundreds in our community, we solemnly ... emotionally stood at the end of our driveway with our children and homemade lanterns and listened to the words that pierce the heart every single year."

The resounding impression of Anzac Day this year, amidst COVID-19 isolation, is that this day was even more poignant and unforgettable for all. The resolve of individuals and families to personalise the commemoration of our servicemen and women, past and present, is truly inspiring.


Newsroom Contributor: Gayle Ryan, Communication specialist, Macarthur Stake.

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