World War II Veteran Ula Agnew has never missed an Anzac Day service and says this year is unlike any other because of Coronavirus.
Mrs Agnew is 98 years old and is one of Bundaberg’s last surviving World War II veterans.
She and son Philip Agnew, who travels from Townsville to Bundaberg each year to be by his mother's side, paid tribute to the brave men and women who fought, and are still fighting, for Australia and New Zealand.
Like many community members in the Bundaberg Region the pair stood alone for the dawn service in their driveway at Kepnock, but they were united in Anzac solidarity, knowing others were doing the same.
Mrs Agnew said there weren't other options during the current health regulations, but it was important to show respect for the men and women who had made Australia what it is today, in any way possible.
“We owe it to them,” she said.
“There’s not much you can do about the current situation, but it remains important to pay tribute in these moments.
“I am very sad, as you put it, to not commemorate with my mates; I’ve always been able to attend an Anzac Day service until this year.
“I’ve always gone to the Bundaberg RSL with my son, who spoils me rotten. We went last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and so on, and so on.
“So, not going this year is upsetting but we can only do what we can do, hopefully I am still around to go along next year.”
Mrs Agnew enrolled in the Australia Women’s Army Service in 1941 when she was 21. She recalls catching the train from Bundaberg to Brisbane with only a suitcase in tow.
“It was a big thing for a country girl – I was sworn in at the showgrounds, and then I was off to the rookie course, it was hard work, but everyone was in the same boat,” she said.
“You learnt just to keep your nose clean and that was it.
“I went in as a Corporal and came out a Warrant Officer and I am proud of that – I am proud to have served.”
She said Anzac Day was the most significant day of the year, and it was important for the community to remember the sacrifices made, despite the current COVID-19 situation.
“I say never lose the thoughts for the Anzacs, no matter what is happening around us,” Mrs Agnew said.
“Australia is unique and unlike anywhere else in the world; it’s important to love Australia, our home, our country.”
After showing her respect in the new form of a drive way Anzac Dawn Service this morning, Mrs Agnew enjoyed her son’s Anzac Day homemade gunfire breakfast of bacon and eggs, before they planned to go for a drive around the Bundaberg city area to view the Anzac Day Remember sign.