ACROSS the Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic families paid their respects to veterans at dawn on Anzac Day – and took “selfies” to record the moment, while abiding by the COVID-19 social isolation rules.
On driveways, balconies and beaches they stood – small acts of remembrance for those who fought for our country.
Few words are needed.
You can see it in their eyes, in the silence and the flickering candlelight – a sign of respect shown by so many from the Gold Coast to Ipswich, the Sunshine Coast and out to Kingaroy.
In some streets The Last Post rang out in unfamiliar surroundings.
Chris Chambers, the digital strategy manager for Brisbane Archdiocesan Services, asked churchgoers and people that work for church agencies to send in photos documenting the unique Anzac Day tribute.
He received more than 80 photos.
“We had photos from our parishioners, priests, Bishop and Archbishop, as well as team members from Catholic Early EdCare, Brisbane Catholic Education and Centacare,” Mr Chambers said.
“We had people sharing moving details of why they were keen to be involved, including remembering fallen family members, children or family members now serving.”
Pat Lane-Mullins and his family, from Bardon, stood proudly in honour of their great grandfather, Charles Richardson who served in the 2/1, 2/2 Pioneers Battalion and was a Rat of Tobruk.
Later on Anzac Day morning, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, celebrated a memorial Mass live-streamed from St Stephen’s Cathedral.
In his homily, Archbishop Coleridge spoke of the deaths at Gallipoli and the links with the pandemic crisis.
“Like war itself, the COVID-19 crisis can seem like death; and yet there’s life emerging even now from the horror, unforeseen blessing from the unforeseen curse,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“After the Great War, the landscape was changed forever; things were never the same again. And that may well be so after this time of affliction has passed.
“As in war, we are forced to focus on what really matters. This is no time for non-essentials. Much that seemed important now looks less so: it doesn’t really matter or doesn’t matter much.
“As in war, there is heroism in the midst of all that’s most degrading.
“Think of the medical staff who exhaust themselves and risk their lives in order to tend the sick: if that isn’t heroism, I’m not sure what is. It’s certainly self-sacrifice.
“The soldiers at Gallipoli and on all the battle-fields were isolated in their trenches; they were far from family and friends, even if they had their mates; many died alone, face down in the mud with no-one to say good-bye or even give them a proper burial.
“So there are things in what we’re living through now that can show us more of what the soldiers went through and what their death really meant.”