Harbourside Lodge residents might not be able to get to the official Anzac Day parade, but that won’t stop them from being part of commemorations.
The aged care facility will again host its own special service, one of the many activities that keep residents involved and engaged throughout the year.
Harbourside Lodge activities coordinator Cindy Purcell said the Anzac Day ceremony follows protocols provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is appreciated by residents.
“Because it’s not easy for a lot of our residents to go out, we have an in-house service,” she said.
The service involves active participation from residents and includes a welcome speech, readings, laying of a wreath, a member of the Portland Brass Band will play the Last Post and the National Anthem, the Portland Cadets will support the service, and those attending will observe a minute’s silence.
This year the program has been extended with plans for some Australian wartime songs and Aussie classics like Waltzing Matilda.
“It’s very important to residents,” Ms Purcell said. “There’s always good attendance and it can be an emotional experience for some.”
The event is part of Harbourside Lodge’s extensive activities program that includes regular bingo on Mondays, music on Tuesdays and bowls on Wednesdays and other activities.
“Having a leisure and lifestyle program for seniors has positive effects on their health and wellness,” Ms Purcell said. “As care providers, identifying what the client likes and what makes them happy is our key focus.”
Portland District Health Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Aged Care Ros Nagorcka spoke at last year’s event and will again be among the presenters this year.
Anzac Day holds special significance for Ms Nagorcka whose father Ray served in Borneo.
“I march every year for him on Anzac Day and it’s a great honour to either read a poem or say a few words at the Harbourside Lodge service,” she said.
“I’d like to thank all servicemen for the freedom that I have today. Without them fighting on our behalf, we wouldn’t be free to be doing what we’re doing.”
Caption – Ros Nagorcka with Brass Band member Danielle McClintock at the 2022 ceremony.