‘Disgrace’: Aged care residents demand flagpole on Anzac Day
CROWLEY Care residents in Ballina are devastated to mark another Anzac Day without a flagpole out the front to fly the Australian flag.
It is the only aged care home in Ballina without an external flagpole, since it was taken down for an ongoing construction project several years ago.
A residential living tenant who asked not to be named said there were a large number of ex-servicemen and war widows at the aged care facility.
They have spoken with at least 25 residents who all were in favour of having the flagpole erected again.
A Crowley Care spokesman said it would be erected in the next phase of construction, and is expected to be up in a year's time depending on COVID-19 restrictions.
"I think it's a disgrace," the resident said.
"A year is too long, we are the only aged care facility in Ballina without one.
"They have put up a flag inside and on the wall at the entrance of the building but that's not enough."
The resident said an external flagpole was important, as many aged care homes fly flags at half-mast when a resident passes away, as a mark of respect.
"There is a veil of silence around death," the resident said.
"You might not see a friend for a month or two and then you hear they have died.
"At least with a flag, we would be able to pay our respects and send our condolences."
Crowley Care's spokesman said they have tremendous programs to support veterans and war widows.
"We understand how important the flag is and that is why we have a memorial for our Anzacs and two flags, one at the entrance and the other internally for our residential care residents who are in lockdown to keep them safe," he said.
"There will also be a wreath where our independent living residents can pay their respects, while adhering to social distancing. Rather than holding Anzac events all our residents will receive an Anzac memorial memento delivered to their door this year. We are honouring our veterans in new ways this year due to the COVID crisis.
"The vast majority of our families and residents fully support all we are doing to remember our veterans with dignity and respect in ways that keep our residents safe."