The Narrabri RSL has finalised preparations for this weekend’s Anzac Day gatherings and is ready to welcome as many locals as possible.

A dawn service at 5am at the Narrabri West memorial will take place, followed by a second dawn service at the Narrabri war memorial at the RSL Club at 6am.

The 6am gathering will be followed by a 7am breakfast at the club, provided by the RSL Sporting Body.

A bus will then collect patrons from the RSL and transport them to Barwan Street at 10.10 for the march, mustering between the Narrabri Public School and Tafe campus, and commencing at 10.30am.

For safety reasons, people dropping off marchers are asked not to access Barwan Street between 10am and 10.30am. Last year, locals were unable to march in April due to COVID-19 and instead remembered our fallen soldiers by observing a minute’s silence from their driveways.

Narrabri RSL sub-branch president Gary Mason OAM commended locals on this effort during the midst of lockdown.

“Narrabri did a great job last year with the driveway commemorations, given the circumstances,” he said.

But Mr Mason has assured locals that the march will be going ahead this year, with Sunday’s events running almost the same as they did pre-COVID.

“We’ll have members walking around with QR codes for you to check-in at all three events, and we’ve had to put together COVID safety plans for the gatherings, but things will be close to normal again,” he said.

“We want to make it as straightforward as possible for everyone attending, so if you don’t have your own phone, we encourage you to be added as a dependant via a companion’s check-in, or we can also manually record your details by hand.”

“Plus, the QR code for the main dawn service and the daytime march, both taking place at the RSL, belongs to the club, so you don’t have to check-in more than once if you want to stay and come inside after the march.”

The march will follow along Maitland Street, as usual, despite earlier plans to take Denison Street instead.

“We’ll be going from Barwan Street, taking a right-hand turn into Dewhurst Street, then a left-hand turn on to Maitland Street, and continue down to council chambers – pausing for a salute by myself and the mayor – then carrying on to the RSL Club,” Mr Mason explained.

He also said the ongoing roadworks will not get in the way on Sunday, with crowds still able to gather on the Courier-side of the street.

“The timing of the construction actually works out well in this case, because we have a few larger vehicles in the march, and it’ll be easier for them to turn from Dewhurst Street on to Maitland Street, on the now completed side of the road,” he said.

Military tracked gun carrier vehicles, jeeps, taxis and local police and rescue service vehicles are among some of the transport participating in the march this year.

The local band, police, VRA, primary and high schools, Lodge Namoi, Scouts, Rotary, rural and NSW fire services, SES and Pony Club are among some of the clubs who will also be in attendance.

The march will be followed by the memorial service, where speeches and the laying of wreaths will take place, before a luncheon for RSL members, ex-service personnel and guests at 12.30pm.

To avoid disappointment, those intending to attend the luncheon must make a booking at the RSL Club.

A game of two up will also be held at the RSL Club, commencing at 1.15pm on the day, pending COVID-19 requirements.

To further support Legacy, members of the RSL Club have been selling Anzac Day badges across town since late last week.

“Since Friday, we’ve been going into local shops, and have been covering the industrial area too,” Mr Mason said.

“Anzac Day badges are also available for purchase at clubs and shops all around Narrabri.”

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