Aged Care Narratives » Commemorating Anzac Day at Arcare aged care
April 30, 2020
Written by Jamie Loh
Clients sat around the table after morning tea to do some craft for Anzac Day. They painted red poppies and Barbara wasn’t afraid to get her fingers all red with paint! Colouring – a less messy version of Anzac craft was also available.
This year, ANZAC Day at Arcare Glenhaven was very different for everyone, especially the Glenhaven clients.
To commemorate ANZAC Day, we usually hold a special service in our residence where everyone can attend, we invite a guest speak to give an address, gather everyone together to hear the last post and sing along to the national anthem.
However, we thought that none of this would be able to happen this year due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing.
The Lifestyle team at Glenhaven were wondering about how to commemorate the day when they received a phone call from a lady in the local community named Kathryn.
Kathryn called Arcare Glenhaven to explain that her son Luca was offering to play his trumpet on our driveway on Anzac Day for the clients.
Luca didn’t want anyone to miss out on an Anzac Day service especially the clients who have served or have close family members involved in the war.
The team members and clients at Glenhaven were ecstatic at the opportunity to experience a live performance of the last post on Anzac Day.
A few days later, Kathryn called us with another great idea. Her younger daughter Ava also wanted to help out by playing ‘Amazing Grace’ and the national anthem on her flute.
Kathryn also did some research about the last post and offered to read a bit of history about Anzac Day to share with the clients.
In the end, the family helped to put together a full Anzac Day program with live music and a meaningful message and all of us at Glenhaven were blown away by the family’s generosity and thoughtfulness.
The day could not have gone better! Many clients came down for the service and they were very pleased to know they could attend something.
The clients were spread out across the front porch and courtyard, as well as in our cafe looking through the entrance doors.
Luca and Ava did a marvellous job playing the songs and the last post. The residents were very impressed with their talent and very grateful that they came down to play especially for them.
During the service, many clients stood for the last post and one-minute silence which was beautiful to watch.
Team members commented that it gave them goosebumps to watch the clients stand together outside for such a meaningful service. People from the local community also stopped to watch the service. It was a lovely moment where everyone came together to remember those who had fallen and served for our country.
At the conclusion of the service, one of the clients Paul asked to say a few words on behalf of the clients at Glenhaven. Paul spoke about the importance of Anzac Day and thanked the family for providing such a thoughtful service.
He especially thanked the children Luca and Ava for playing their instruments and he encouraged them to always remember the generations before them and the sacrifices they have made. The family were then gifted chocolates and one of Paul’s paintings as a thank you gift.
After the service, all the clients gathered in the café and lounge areas to enjoy some morning tea. The atmosphere was electric as everyone was talking and reminiscing about the service and their experiences of war.
The day was extra special for Dot who served in the British army as she proudly wore her medals during the service. Many clients came up to her throughout the service to say thank you and ask about her time in the army.
It was also special for Betty who remembered both her husbands who served in the war while Mary had served in the Navy.
Arcare Helensvale proudly celebrated Anzac Day this week with veterans, Mr. Jack Eaves and Mr. Mark Worley who laid the wreaths and read a moving prayer for us.
Sharon Russell, our Residence Manager proudly walked with Mr. Mark Worley as he laid one of the wreaths at the Anzac crosses.
Lifestyle Coordinator Kate organised the meaningful service, put together a program booklet and decorated the courtyard with Anzac emblems.
Many clients also gathered around the walkways and balconies to pay their respects.
Team members Suzanne Peterson, Natasha Bhatnagar, Rebecca Watson and Anthony Byrne played an important role in the service by reading a beautiful poem called ‘Why Wear a Poppy’, with Anthony proudly reading the ‘Ode’.
We all wore a sprig of Rosemary tied with a purple ribbon, to signify Arcare’s pride while honouring this special day.
Here at Arcare Helensvale, we showed our respects by honouring our brave men and women who gave their lives and their futures to serve, so that we can live in a free and safe country.
Mark Worley and Jack Eaves
Mark was Captain in the Australian Army while Jack was involved in the Royal Marines, WWII and is a D-Day veteran. Jack was on HMS Glenearn from 1943 to 1945.
On June 6 2019, the British High Commission invited Jack Eaves as an honorary guest on the anniversary of the D-day Landing. Read his story here: https://arcare.com.au/queensland-aged-care/helensvale/news/recognising-jack-eaves-a-doomsday-veteran/
Stories from Royal Marines Association Queensland: https://rmaq.com.au/stories
Stories from HMS Glenearn: https://www.combinedops.com/HMS%20GLENEARN.htm
At Arcare Hope Island, we held four separate ANZAC Day Services. The Order of Service was prepared by Charles Hulson from the Caulfield RSL Sub-Branch, with clients watching the YouTube service.
Chris Sanders, Lieutenant Commander
He served in the Royal Australian Naval for 40 years. During this time, he served on the HAMS Sydney, Melbourne and the Warramunga Tribal Class destroyer which was named after Aboriginals.
Warramunga operated off the north coast of New Guinea in 1943, seeing action at Saidor, Cape Gloucester.
After a period in Australia, Warramunga once again served in the New Guinea area at Aitape, Biak and then in support of the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944, where the ship came under heavy kamikaze attack.
After the surrender of Japan, Warramunga served in support of the initial occupation near Tokyo and helped in evacuating Embassy personal from Peking.
During peace time, the ships patrolled the North Pacific Ocean and Chris remembers the most frightening event was going through not one, but two cyclones. The ship was thrown around a lot and they had to make sure everything was secured.
Chris Sanders stated the Anzac Day service was a true tribute to those who served and he was thankful for it.
Dennis Trott, former President of the Runaway Bay Sub-Branch RSL stated he enjoyed the service, especially the Tribute and acknowledgement at the end.
Aileen Hogan also shared with us that she thought the service was wonderful and it brought back many memories of when she joined in the Army at 18 years old. She worked in the Orderly Room was specially selected to work for the Occupation Forces operations in Japan for 2 years.
After the service, Akiko Kirkham stated that it was very emotional for her. She remembers the sound of the bombing and what came afterwards, the dust, the cries, true destruction and loss.
At Arcare Hope Island, we raise our glasses and thank God we have peace, with no more wars.
At the Anzac Day Service at Arcare Kanwal, client Robert laid the Anzac Day wreath for us and he was very happy to do it.
He shared with us that this his way of continuing his service and commemorating his fallen comrades in the Navy.
The service was held in the hall and we made sure to maintain social distancing during the service.
As the clients entered the hall, the Lifestyle team placed rosemary twigs on each client’s lapels as it was tradition to wear it during Anzac Day.
Client Helen led The Ode during the service and she became emotional as it reminded her of her husband who served as a soldier in the war. ‘I thought I could not finish The Ode, but I did and I’m very proud of myself that I got through it,’ she said.
Before Anzac Day, clients in the craft group were busy preparing by making a poppy wreath out of egg cartons, which was proudly displayed in the hall for everyone to see.
Clients from the Dementia Community also assisted with decorations for Anzac Day. They put their craft skills to the test by making lanterns out of milk bottles. Then, they drew beautiful red poppies on them.
The lifestyle team placed tealights in the lanterns as it looked absolutely beautiful as they were placed in the hall during the service.
‘It is the first time that we are not marching on the streets for Anzac Day, it is sad but it won’t dampen our spirits. We can think about them and say a prayer for the fallen.” Client Jannette said.
‘Thank you to the Lifestyle team, the service was really nice,’ client Peter Nolan also shared.
Clients at Arcare Maroochydore were very busy making wreaths, in the lead up to Anzac Day.
Wanting to share this special day with the community and their own families, the clients set to work.
Glass jars were turned into lanterns with clients painting beautiful red poppies on the glass and adding tea lights for a lovely glowing effect.
Out in the warm Autumn sunshine, Lifestyle team members and clients collected vines and flowers to make Anzac Day wreaths.
Working with love and care, the wreaths were made and ready to be hung on our residence’s front gate for everyone to see.
‘What a pleasure it is to share our wreaths and lanterns with the community, one client said.
On the night before Anzac Day, Personal Support Worker Angie turned on the lights and placed the lanterns along the pathway to the residence, ready for dawn and ready for the Arcare Maroochydore to share this special occasion with the Sunshine Coast community.
At Arcare North Lakes, a lot of thought went into preparing for our Anzac Day Service and to ensure everyone felt supported.
Poppies were ordered from an Anzac store to support our diggers and hundreds of displays were made as the Lifestyle worked until the sun went down.
Volunteers and Lifestyle worked together to design this year’s Anzac Day program and to make it an everlasting memory for the clients.
The volunteers sent through many creative ideas and the Lifestyle team designed it by adding as much as detail as possible.
After four hours of printing and 20 pages later, the book was complete and ready to be handed out.
Lifestyle Coordinator Maree spent Anzac Day delivering poppies to each and every client in their suite and community.
Our Anzac service was conducted via television and radio and the Lifestyle team went from community to community to play a short service via the CD player.
Many clients stood in respect for our diggers, with their medals and poppies attached to their Anzac Day outfits.
‘We will remember them,’ they said after the service.
They were also very grateful for the amount of thought and effort that went into the service and the program book.
‘This means the world to me, to see how much you care,’ a client commented.
Over the course of the Anzac Day Service at Arcare North Lakes, there were many Anzac stories and reflections shared.
Lest we forget.
During their craft sessions at Arcare Oatlands, clients decided they wanted to make something special for our ANZAC service. So, they chose to do a wreath that they could lay to pay their respects during the service. The clients’ project took place over a couple of weeks and they started by making poppies.
Sydney Coddington was in charge of drawing and painting the leaves and he was quick to put it all together. ‘This was such a fun and creative project to work on,’ Sydney shared.
The clients enjoyed making the wreath as it is a meaningful project for them to work on, especially for ANZAC day.
Clients and team members at Arcare Oatlands gathered in the main foyer to commemorate the fallen and those who continue to protect our country.
Beryl Stephenson, Gordon Jackson and John Passmore who all served guided everyone through the ANZAC Service and laid the wreath, made by the clients.
To close off the ceremony, John said, ‘Thank you everyone for coming along and joining us in remembering all the service of men and women both past and present.’
As the service came to an end everyone continued to chat and share their past war experiences with the younger generations.
The clients also had their medals proudly on display and were explaining the history and significance behind each one.
We also enjoyed some homemade ANZAC Biscuits, which were made in a cooking activity earlier in the day.
When asked about how the service went, Alexandra said, ‘It was a well-presented and organised ceremony, the ANZAC biscuits were very delicious too.’
Clients at Arcare Parkwood have been doing a special Anzac Day project where they paint red poppies, put together a green background and spell out the word ‘Anzac’. They have had a lot of fun making the poppy wall and they look forward to displaying it proudly in the residence.
Clients at Arcare Pimpama have been busy making crafts for Anzac Day. Using ice cream sticks and poppy cut-outs, clients like Barbara Martin enjoy making poppies to go in the residence Anzac display.
At our Anzac Day ceremony at Arcare Pimpama, we honoured the soldiers who have fallen and the soldiers who have served.
We made poppies in our craft activities which were placed into bowls of sand on our display table, along with 100 crocheted poppies that a member of the public had made and donated to the residence.
We used a cross and wreath that belonged to Necia, one of the clients at Pimpama and an Australian flag that one of our employees kindly donated.
Helen Wickham and Pamela Hird both have close family members who served to protect Australia.
Helen’s grandfather, Private Percy Nicholl served in WWI with the 6th Light Horse Regiment.
Percy served from 1915-1917 and saw action in Cairo, he was later discharged for medical reasons.
Pamela is proudly wearing the medals that belonged to her late husband Bill Hird who was a Leading Seaman in the Royal Australian Navy, on aboard the Manoora during WWII.
He saw action in Japan just after the Atomic bomb was dropped.
Anzac Day is a significant day for all of us at Arcare Pimpama and we recognise the importance of commemorating and honouring our soldiers.
Arcare Sanctuary Manors’ Anzac Day Service was conducted slightly different this year but with the same amount of significance and honour.
Lifestyle Coordinator Rickie showed a video that was put together by a team in Melbourne, with many clients commenting on how well the video was put together.
After the video, clients shared their own war stories and this bought everyone closer together in spirit.
Peggy shared with us the story of her brother who was killed in the Korean War while another client shared with us how her husband and two brothers had served in the war.
In the photo, Bill who fought in Papua New Guinea, is holding a picture of his brother who sadly died in the war.
While May is holding her Light Horseman Teddy Bear which represents her father who was in the Light Horse Brigade.
These two are always an important part of our Anzac Service here at Sanctuary Manors, with Bill always laying the wreath and saying the ode.
In the Sapphire lounge, the display board was decorated with black and white photos of soldiers and red poppies to commemorate their service.
And the Australia flag flew high above the Anzac table filled with personal Anzac Day memorabilia from the clients.
Even though Anzac Service is just done differently this year, we shall never forget them. Lest We Forget.
This Anzac Day poem is written by Kerry Towler, Volunteer at Arcare Slacks Creek.
“He ain’t heavy – He’s my brother”
As the barges left the ships ere of the break of dawn
With our Soldiers whispering to each in the early misty morn
So many so young and so full of fear
No turning back now or no time to shed a tear
They waded through water that was neck high to reach the shore
As it was Gallipoli Peninsula where they were heading for
They were met with open fire, as they tried scatter to the beach
With steep barren slopes in sight, for cover desperate to reach
So many Diggers died on that day
Alongside “brother in arms” pulling “dog tags” off dead soldiers all along the way
To try to identify their mate at the very end
Who had just become their closest friend?
They carried the dead and wounded through mud, blood & tears
Humped across their shoulders, they carried them with no fear
“He ain`t heavy-he`s my brother now”
He deserves recognition for his family and country somehow
Medical ships with Australian nurses waited off the shores of Gallipoli that day
To comfort our soldiers as they were set free from pain and slowly drifted away
Lost limbs, shrapnel wounds that never repair
But our Aussie nurses took care of our soldiers with respect and with care
For months on end this war continued on
And our soldiers found comfort from singing this song
“Waltzing Matilda” was deep in their hearts
And the morale would lift in the troops
When they all would start
So proud we all are of our memories as we look back
Of 105 years of our Australian and New Zealand “diggers” known as ANZACS
We raise our flag of red, white and blue
In memory of our “Diggers” of other wars too
Client Lavinia at Arcare Springwood is enjoying being part of Arcare Springwood’s craft group.
For this week’s craft session, they got together to make crosses for Anzac day.
Lavinia decided to honor her husband Stanley Arnold who served in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
The Australian Imperial Force started in 1914 for overseas war service and it was a separate and purely volunteer army.
As she reminisced about her husband’s war experiences, she recalled that when her husband had returned from the war, he came home with a lot of medical issues.
And Lavinia could even remember his army number – 16185!
Margaret also has made crosses to remember the fallen soldiers and they are now proudly on display in the community.
Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most important national occasions as it marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
To commemorate their bravery and honour their service, the clients at Arcare Springwood are taking the time to make Anzac crafts, read poems and join in the morning service.
Arcare Springwood’s Anzac service for 2020 was a special day for all of us.
Client Donald Lynch presented his message of history of the Anzac, his own reflection of the war as a kid and also as an acting soldier.
Pauline laid the wreath in honour of her husband Raymond, who served in Australian Army.
Margaret Wattie and many other ladies created great decorations for the Anzac Day service.
The craft group made crosses dedicated to their husbands who served and other soldiers.
We also had to get creative with our lectern that was made from a trolley, a milk crate and a tablecloth.
The service was beautiful and meaningful as team member Lacey’s 17-year-old daughter recorded herself playing the Last Post on her saxophone and we were able to play it for the clients at the service.
We finished the morning with a song of the clients’ choice, as they sung ‘I am Australian’, our Aussie flags were flying high.
It was a very significant day for all of us and we want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment.
To commemorate the Anzac soldiers and those who served, Reza at Arcare Helensvale St James specially made paintings in honour of them and this is what he had to say:
‘To me, 22,000 soldiers went 10,000 miles to fight in Turkey and in Gallipoli to save Australia, this saddens me more than anything, all those families that are now broken due to the war.’
At Arcare Helensvale St James, we had a wonderful morning honouring our service men at our Anzac Day Service.
The preventative lockdown did nothing to dampen the patriotic spirit of clients as they sat in the doorway of their rooms while the service was delivered via the PA system.
After that, they remained in small groups for a special morning tea to reminisce about their loved ones.
We also held a special service for our two clients who are hearing-impaired. Lifestyle Coordinator Adel put on video tribute made for Anzac day, complete with pictures and subtitles for them.
Betty and Ken were both very appreciative and happy to have been included in the Anzac commemorations.
It is important to remember that every client is different in their needs and wants, so Arcare St James is doing their best to ensure that all clients are supported.
For Anzac Day, clients at Arcare Taigum made Anzac slices and joined in an Anzac Day Service.
In the morning, the wonderful smell of freshly-baked Anzac slices filled the residence.
Clients were busy preparing for Anzac Day by making some yummy classic Anzac slices.
In the afternoon, the Lifestyle team organised a small Anzac Day Service and clients were given fresh rosemary to wear on their lapel.
Rosemary is traditionally worn on Anzac Day as it has a particular significance for Australians.
It can be found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula, where Anzac forces landed during WWII.
Jamie Loh is Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Queensland. Jamie joined the Arcare team in mid 2019, stepping straight into her responsibilities which include communications with the broader community, community engagement and internal communications responsibilities. Jamie is a firm advocate for consistent communications and engaging ideas to help bridge the gap between those living in aged care residences and the wider communities. Jamie utilises a diverse array of strategies to help improve messaging and boost brand awareness and is always advocating for new methods of communicating in different strategies and mediums. After graduating from Brisbane State High School in 2014, Jamie attended the University of Queensland where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications (Public Relations) and Arts (Japanese). During her time at the University of Queensland, Jamie worked with Brisbane's top Public Relations firms and participated in an intensive language program in Tokyo, Japan.