Gold Coast beach closures on Anzac Day have inspired a group of seniors to bring the beach to them in a project that has lifted spirits ahead of commemorations.
Her husband Don served in WWII and Faye Mead, 90, is amongst those residents from Ozcare’s Burleigh Heads Aged Care Facility remembering the nation’s fallen on April 25th.
It will be an Anzac Day like no other across the coast and Australia as veterans face the challenges of physical distancing on a day traditionally about unity.
The importance of Anzac has not changed for Faye, who hopes the community never stops remembering whatever the challenges.
Through reminiscence therapy, Ozcare residents have helped staff transform a garden wall into a stunning mural of the seaside, enjoying several old-fashioned fish and chip lunches beside the art piece.
“I was brought up in the country so we didn’t have any beaches and I didn’t meet Don until after the war but we made happy memories at the beach,” said Faye, whose father also served in WWI.
“Anzac Day is very important and, it is no different this year, it is just the same, I hope the community will still remember them in years go to come,” she said.
Ozcare Diversional Therapist Breanna McMaster said Anzac Day would be an emotional time for many residents, including the veterans and their families in care at the facility.
“We have made a wreath from poppies the residents have made as a symbol that we are all in this and I think there will be emotions on the day,” Ms McMaster said.
“Right now, art therapy has brought something positive and the mural has created a happy environment. They’ve absolutely loved having fish and chips by the ocean, even if it is not the real thing at the moment. It really brings back the memories.
"Our residents will gather in groups of five to watch the service on Anzac Day. We are keeping it within the guidelines, so they will not miss out.”