As President of the Inverloch RSL Sub-branch, it is with great sadness I have to advise that there will be no 2020 ANZAC Day services in Inverloch in line with government guidelines addressing the COVID-19 threat.

It is sad because of the outstanding community response we receive from Inverloch for our commemorative events.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the second World War, and the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, often called the forgotten war. 17,000 Australians served in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953, they suffered 339 dead, and 1200 wounded.

There were many outstanding actions from Australian forces, the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney maintained a significant presence, launching over 2700 missions, nine RAN vessels maintained a blockade of North Korea in 1953.

3RAR was significant in Battles of Yongju and Kapyong and was awarded a US Unit Citation for Bravery. RAAF 77SQN flew the first combat missions of the war and was awarded on South Korean Unit Citation for their ground attack missions. Significant contributions, as usual, from Australian forces.

To lose the opportunity to celebrate the day through an ‘enemy’ we cannot see is most heart-breaking: we do not get the opportunity to share our love and respect for those of us who have gone before; to celebrate as a group the camaraderie we enjoy as members of the RSL and with the people of Inverloch.

We miss the outstanding contributions from the local traders, the schools, the sporting clubs, the scout group and other service groups, the list is long.

RSL Victoria is supporting the idea of communities showing their support for ANZAC Day by going to the end of their driveway at 6am to share a minute’s silence to remember those who have served and have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I humbly seek Inverloch’s support in this commemoration.

Rest assured that the Inverloch RSL Sub-branch will continue to provide support to our veterans during this period and look forward to celebrating our next memorial event, Remembrance Day on November 11. I look forward to engaging once again with the Inverloch Community.

Lest We Forget.

Bob Sutton, President, Inverloch Sub-Branch.