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Crookwell Anzac Day service and march cancelled

UNTIL NEXT YEAR: School children lay wreaths at the 2019 Crookwell Anzac Day commemorative service. Photo: Clare McCabe
UNTIL NEXT YEAR: School children lay wreaths at the 2019 Crookwell Anzac Day commemorative service. Photo: Clare McCabe

Crookwell RSL Sub-Branch honorary secretary Bev Hatch said members were disappointed the Anzac Day march and commemorative service wouldn't go ahead in 2020 but that they would still observe the event.

Crookwell Hospital Auxiliary chairperson Joyce Edwards was due to speak at the service about the role of nurses in war but had to be cancelled, along with the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers and catafalque party.

On Monday, RSL NSW decided to cancel all public commemoration services across the state on April 25.

"Given the significant concerns around the spread of COVID-19, we simply cannot allow such large gatherings as we see each year on Anzac Day to go ahead," acting state president Ray James said in a statement.

"The RSL has a responsibility to act in the best interests of veterans and the general public."

Mr Hatch said many who attended Crookwell's Anzac Day commemorations were elderly, as were most members of the sub-branch.

"We're sad that this has happened, but health has to come first," he said.

Mr Hatch said the sub-branch would raise the national flag to half mast at the Crookwell Services Club at 6am until midday on Anzac Day and that members were meeting on April 2 to discuss other ways they could remember those who have served and fallen without drawing large crowds.

Gunning and Taralga Anzac Day commemorations are also run by the RSL.

Yass RSL Sub Branch has cancelled the Gunning event, while Taralga RSL Sub Branch will observe Anzac Day without a public gathering.

Anzac Day commemorations are run independently in Breadalbane, Grabben Gullen and Bigga.

Grabben Gullen Community Progress Association vice president Paul Howard said the village's service was officially called off but that progress association members would still meet for a low-key service.

The low-key service will include wreath-laying at 9am at the new memorial in Grabben Gullen Hall grounds.

Breadalbane and Bigga have cancelled their ANZAC Day commemorations. Bigga has also cancelled its Easter markets.