Families encouraged to create lanterns for Anzac Day at dawn

By Charmayne Allison

Shepparton's Cody and Ethan Montgomery have attended an Anzac Day dawn service every year since before they can remember.

It's become a precious tradition, a chance to stop and commemorate their great-great-uncle and great-grandfather by proudly wearing their medals.

And even a pandemic won't stop Cody, 12, and Ethan, 10, from continuing this custom.

The brothers are creating lanterns out of milk bottles which they'll light up and line along their driveway at 6 am on Anzac Day in place of the cancelled dawn services.

An Anzac Day lantern created by Shepparton's Cody and Ethan Montgomery.

And they're encouraging other families in Greater Shepparton to get involved.

“We were sad when we found out the dawn services wouldn't be on this year, so we thought we'd do this,” Cody said.

“We encourage other kids to do it as well, to remember their pops and show respect for anyone else who went to war.”

Shepparton's Cody Montgomery, 12, and Ethan Montgomery, 10, are creating lanterns to light up on Anzac Day.

Their mum Paula Montgomery said she first saw the idea on Facebook and told her boys, who "immediately loved" the idea.

“They've knuckled down and started drawing on milk containers and putting candles in them,” she said.

“My nan's brother was killed in the war and they never found his body, so we always make an effort to go to the dawn service and wear his and my grandfather's medals.”

With most children stuck at home doing remote learning, Paula said it would be an easy and fun project for them.

“Even though we can't go to dawn services, we can still do this little thing,” she said.

“And it's important for kids to get involved and understand what people have endured and sacrificed to give us a better life.”

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