2020 ANZAC Day Tour posponed to 2021
100% of participants on France at Leisure's 2020 ANZAC TOUR have postponed to 2021,
Christian Blondeau, the founder and director of France at Leisure has announced.
ANZAC Day is commemorated on 25th April each year and is arguably Australia's most important national day. It marks the anniversary of the first key military action fought by Australia and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
"More Anzacs fell in France during that war than anywhere else, before or since, and in recent years there has been a momentum shift in people visiting those battlefields, especially around ANZAC Day", says Christian. "France at Leisure has organised ANZAC tours to the Somme and Flanders for 17 years, and over that time the numbers participating have only grown".
"Our tours are specifically designed for Australian travellers to cover the key First World War battlefields and sites. We offer day tours from Amiens and Arras, and 3- and 5-day packages covering the Somme region and Flanders. Our visits include the Victoria School, Sir John Monash Centre and Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux; Australian Corps Memorial Park at Le Hamel; "The Windmill" and Mouquet Farm near Pozieres; Bullecourt and the Hindenburg Line; Fromelles; the Menin Gate , Passchendaele and Polygon Wood".
Christian attributes this growing interest to the recent Centenary of the First World War, and the growing interest in genealogy and family history. "Women are very much the drivers in rediscovering the family past," says Christian. "For some, it is the history, for many more it is family. Regardless of the particular year or anniversary, that will not change".
However, in 2020 the worldwide pandemic will prevent people from travelling overseas for commemorations at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux, and even from attending local services here in Australia. The last time there were such large scale cancellations were during the 1919 Spanish 'flu pandemic.
The RSL is instead encouraging people to stand in their driveways or their front gates at 6.00 am on 25th April in silent gratitude, to reflect on the service and sacrifice of those veterans of the past, and those who serve today. There will be a national live telecast of a commemorative service from the Australian War Memorial on the ABC, which will also be live-streamed on social media, along with a number of documentaries and special items to mark the day.
Christian says that his participants for the six-day 2020 tour, who have all postponed to 2021, will no doubt spend the day reading up on where their pilgrimage is to take them next year and give focus to what they are looking to experience.
And … there is room for next year's trip. "This small-group ANZAC Day Tour gives you the opportunity to join your fellow Australians to remember those who fell in the Great War and since at the poignant Dawn Service ceremony at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux" says Christian.
For the 2021 ANZAC DAY tour, FRANCE AT LEISURE encourages Australians to re-register their interest as soon as possible by calling 1300 302 623 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org