It is with sincere regret that, in the interest of public safety due to Covid-19, the decision has been made to cancel this year’s Remembrance Parade in Melbourne. Residents are instead being urged to mark Remembrance Sunday from home.
The parish council agreed that the need for social distancing meant the traditional Civic Procession to the War Memorial and the ceremonial laying of wreaths at the War Memorial should be cancelled. The flag in the Market Place will still be flown at half mast and poppies will be placed on the lampposts.
There will be a service of remembrance on Sunday 8th November but attendance will be limited to members of the clergy, the Chair of the parish council, a bugler, a standard bearer and the Chair of the Melbourne branch of the RBL.
Cllrs took the decision at a meeting held on 21st October by acknowledging their duty to protect the public as its over-ridding principle whilst acknowledging and respecting the emotions around the act of remembrance.
The Chair of the parish council – Cllr Hicklin said “It is with enormous sadness that I have to announce this year’s remembrance parade has been cancelled. This has not been an easy decision for the parish council and there has been much discussion as to how it may be possible to provide a safe event, but as the parade always has large numbers, including many veterans, it is irresponsible to have the parade and the normal service which would put so many at risk of covid.”
The parish council knows many people will be very disappointed by this news and maybe tempted to go along to the War Memorial regardless on 8th November, but the parish council would urge people not to. Remembrance Sunday should not be forgotten and the Royal British Legion is recommending a range of ways in which this important day can be observed at home, for example holding a small service in your own garden. There are some innovative ideas of fundraising and on the act of remembrance, the link to their website is https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance.
The parish council hopes that residents understand the decision that has been taken and encourages people to participate in memory of the fallen but in a Covid-safe way. As the Royal British Legion website says “we encourage everyone to make Remembrance their own – however you choose to remember”.