The death of a Vietnam war veteran in the floods that swept through the NSW town of Dungog this week has been described as “absolutely devastating” by the state’s RSL president.
Speaking on the eve of Anzac Day, NSW RSL president Rod White said the deaths of 72-year-old veteran Brian Wilson and former national serviceman Colin Webb, 79, was “nothing short of a significant tragedy”.
“We’ll be remembering them closely tomorrow,” Mr White said of the two members of the Dungog sub-branch of the RSL.
Four people died in the NSW Hunter in this week’s floods.
Mr White said Anzac memorials would still take place in weather-affected areas but the priority in some communities must be “to restore a lifestyle for them and their families”.
“The commemoration of Anzac will some way or another be on people’s minds,” he said.
“It’s important for people to try and recover a lifestyle they previously enjoyed.
“Where possible Anzac services will continue in some form or other.”
Mr White urged those heading into Sydney for the dawn service to allow plenty of time.
“Be prepared to stand, to be amongst large crowds but of course look at your local communities, what you could be doing there.”
Huge crowds are expected in central Sydney on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli.
The service at Martin Place starts at 4.30am followed by the march through the city at 9am.
A commemoration service is scheduled at the Anzac memorial in Hyde Park at 12.30pm, with a sunset service in Martin Place concluding official events at 5pm.