BENDIGO'S RSL has confirmed it will run a Remembrance Day service in a little over two weeks but crowds will not gather per tradition at the Soldiers Memorial Institute.
The group will instead run the service at its Havilah Road premises at 10.45am on the day.
Roughly 100 people will be allowed, though that is a very rough estimate subject to government rules and the dates Victoria's vaccine targets are reached.
Bendigo RSL President Peter Swandale said the cost of some COVIDsafe requirements made it impossible to run services outside either the Soldiers Memorial Institute or Eaglehawk's old town hall.
"If we could have, I would have preferred we did a service at the Soldiers Memorial Institute because that is its rightful place," he said.
The decision was made after consultation with the City of Greater Bendigo and assessing state government health directives.
The RSL has run memorial services at the Soldiers Memorial Institute during different stages of the pandemic but has remained heavily dependent on rules imposed by governments.
Attendee numbers have ranged from a handful of veterans to larger crowds divided by fences and check-in zones.
Mr Swandale said he was looking forward to the day the RSL can ditch all COVID-19 requirements, especially fences.
The RSL is organising for veterans to lay wreaths at both the Bendigo and Eaglehawk venues in more private moments of reflection.
The Kangaroo Flat RSL is leaning towards holding a service but is waiting until at least Friday so that it can make an assessment about government social distancing requirements.
The optimism is a long way from the disappointment felt by Bendigo and Kangaroo Flat veterans groups in recent years.
They have also often reported falls in the number of poppies and Anzac badges sold for fundraisers.
Less people have been able to run stalls at smaller numbers of shops because of social distancing restrictions.
That has directly impacted on assistance for veterans and their loved ones.
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