Former army musician to hold Anzac Day service from driveway
WITH official Anzac Day ceremonies cancelled across the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one Rockhampton resident has been inspired to play the Last Post and Reveille from his driveway at dawn.
Retired musician and Australian Army bandmaster Geoff Carter said he was impressed by the suggestion that local communities commemorate Anzac Day by gathering on their driveway at dawn and observing a minute's silence.
Mr Carter, who lives on Wigginton St at Frenchville, said he was inspired to support this concept by playing the Last Post and Reveille after coming across the idea on Facebook.
"There was a big push on the Concert Bands of Australia Facebook page to play the Last Post at dawn at the bottom of your driveway on Anzac Day," he said.
"I thought this was a great idea and my cup of tea.
"I wrote a letter and hand-delivered it to the 40-odd houses on Wigginton St and Halford St.
"I have even started a Facebook page for Wigginton St to ask folks to join me, and hopefully continue as a way for our community to stay connected, like a Neighbourhood Watch."
The response so far has been positive.
"I was out there yesterday and one of the guys in Halford St said his wife had made little candles to put out that night and she is making candles for the street, which is good," he said.
Mr Carter is vice-president of the Capricornia Winds Band and a long-standing member of the RSL.
He served in the Australian Army as a musician and bandmaster for 41 years, primarily based in Adelaide and in Darwin. He said he was a multi-instrumentalist who played both the clarinet and flute.
Prior to that, he worked as a medic for the army for five years from 1964 to 1970 before joining the band in Adelaide in 1977.
Ordinally, Mr Carter would go to schools in Rockhampton on the day before Anzac Day to be part of their ceremonies.
This year, he will be holding his own unique community service for his neighbours on Saturday.
"I will be out there on my driveway at 5.55am and will open with a hymn," he said.
"Councillor Neil Fisher will then say the Ode and I will follow that with the Last Post and Reveille, before closing with the national anthem."
Mr Carter said it was very heartening to see people finding alternative ways to show their respects after formal ceremonies were cancelled.
"This is a very convenient opportunity to pay your respects. Make this very small sacrifice," he said.
"It's only five minutes then you can go inside and have bangers and mash for breakfast."
If you live on Wigginton St at Frenchville and support this concept join the Wigginton St Facebook page or call Mr Carter on 0407 323 636.
Date: Saturday, April 25
Where: Your driveway