Anzac Day commemorations have been cancelled across the region as fears for public health grow.
Services around Marlborough have been cancelled and the annual Poppy Day Street Appeal postponed for the first time since 1922.
Marlborough RSA president Chris Bamber says the decision has been made to protect the health of veterans, members and the public.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the cancellation of Anzac Day services.
“This is the right decision in light of the global pandemic situation.
“We get tremendous support from our Marlborough community and feel a great sense of sadness at not being able to share this special day with you all,” she says.
RSA national president B J Clark says this is the first time that public services to commemorate ANZAC Day have been cancelled and the Poppy Day Appeal postponed.
New Zealand is under attack and so the bonds of service, sacrifice and support that our community has demonstrated in times of war, adversity and natural disaster must once again come to the fore,” he says.
“COVID-19 is a powerful and dangerous for. RSA’s and the communities they are part of, all-over New Zealand must fight hard to protect our whanau and kaumatua from the transmission of this virus in keeping our proud memories of service and sacrifice.
“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented decisions to protect the health and safety of all New Zealanders, Clark says.
Chris says she hopes people will still be able to mark the moment on 25April.
“We can still honour and remember the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and servicewoman, both past and present, on Anzac Day but not just in the form of commemorative event.
“I hope people can still spare a few moments during the day to remember.
“Marlborough RSA will continue to ensure the wellbeing, health and safety of all our members and their families and urge all our community to be kind, respectful and think of each other.
“These are unprecedented times.”