Now with the nationwide program to vaccinate against the COVID 19 in place, we may be able to look to restoration of a more normal lifestyle. The many months of enforced hibernation, a basic tool in controlling the spread of the virus, has enforced upon us many new experiences and has caused us all to appreciate many of our life values; especially such items that contribute to and provide for our happiness and cogent social life. Soon that ‘annus horribilus’ will be behind us as and we will be able to recommence more traditional sub-Branch activities. Especially being able to unite again in ANZAC Day celebrations and other commemoration services.
The sub-Branch ANZAC Commemorations this year will consist of an ANZAC Sunday Service on the 18th of April and a Dawn service on the 25th of April and in compliance with the relevant COVID restrictions of the day.
With the dreaded virus under control, Australians are arousing to face the new world of post-COVID 19. This year we will be united in our ANZAC Services and proud of the unity of spirit which is the quintessence of that bond of mutual support experienced by Australian who faced an enemy, embraced hardship and even with sacrifice showed a determination to secure a victory.
Just as we personally face our future, post COVID, the RSL is also involved in significant changes especially in the way it serves veterans and operates its welfare programs. The League is embracing a new world with different needs and expectations than of the times of its origins a hundred years ago. In the 21st Century, the RSL is but one of many charities supporting the veteran community and the success of the RSL recruitment program is the hope for any growth or continuity of the league.
The proud history of times past and the heritage of its service to diggers for the past hundred years rests with us; the veterans who remain. The diggers of past generations of the league have passed the lantern to us, challenging us to see it glow and grow.
We embrace this challenge by putting aside any preconceived ideas or superficial hidden agendas, biases or offenses that may be perceived to exist in the evolving Constitution and its Statement of Practices.
The enforced separation of the past year has seen us turn to the technology of the virtual world to bridge that loss of personal contact. The virtual world of that technology has also allowed us to look more closely at world events and perhaps to observe the fragilities by which peace is maintained and of the simplicity with which we can now communicate our personal values and attitudes to any situation.
The world is changing quickly, and we must allow our RSL to adapt to the way we live and to engage the changes that are important to survival of the League.
Whilst observing the many political agendas of nations that surround us, we can glimpse a tenuousness of the peace. Daily, in the media, we are made aware of issues and radical forces that stand ready to influence our national values. We are being challenged in the way we can think or speak. There are soothsayers that believe that we can rewrite history rather than learn from it. The only thing of some certainty is that of change. As Australians we must be vigilant in our understanding and of our adaptation to the changes that will overtake our world.
John K Curdie OAM