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  • Writer's pictureNSW Taxi Council

Taxis ensured COVID-19 didn't stop our Veterans from Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VP day

Manly Cabs – One of the member networks of the NSW Taxi Council had the honour and privilege of transporting our respected veterans for the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Pacific on 15 August 2020. Manly Cabs transported three respected veterans who served in World War II (WWII) along with their guests in three separate Taxis from Gallipoli House to The Sydney Cenotaph located on the Pitt Street at Martin Place.

(From left to right: Veterans who served in World War II - Mr Fred Lewis, Mr Rod Kingham and Mr Jack Van Emden)

Considering the critical times we are in, caused by COVID-19 and the vulnerability of our senior citizens to the virus, the utmost safety, care and diligence was practiced by Manly Cabs in all the three Taxis being utilised to transport the respected veterans. All the three Taxis that participated for the commemoration were washed and sanitised prior to picking up the veterans. All three Taxi drivers wore masks and had masks for passengers if they chose to wear them. All cars were equipped with hand sanitisers and wipes.

Ashwin Sharma – Acting CEO, Manly Cabs on this auspicious occasion commented on the significance of transporting the respected veterans and said “It is an absolute honour and privilege to transport our World War II veterans. Manly Cabs has transported Veterans for over 60 years for ANZAC day. We are always available to assist whenever requested to volunteer our services as Veterans are a crucial part of our society. They also provide valuable income to our industry and by assisting them for special occasions like the VP day is only a small token in thanking them for the services they have provided to our country.”

Mr Jack Van Emden, a veteran who served in World War II and was invited for the commemoration ceremony expressed his views on the occasion and said, “It's a celebration to signify the end of WWII after 75 years. It is also a special time to remember the mateship we made and lost during the war. Some of those I served with, I managed to keep in touch with, but over the years have lost touch with many as they came from all over Australia. Importantly it signifies the return of life back to normal for everyone who was affected during the war. I felt very humbled to have been asked to participate in the commemoration ceremony.”

Furthermore, Mr Van Emden also shared his views on the significance of the event and expressed, “It was very important because it is a time that I will never forget. I joined the Air Force as an instrument technician in 1940 and served for 5 and a half years until the end of the war". On being asked about his experience of travelling in a Taxi to the ceremony, he added, “It is greatly appreciated, and I am thankful to Manly Cabs for providing the service.”

Manly Cabs have a Sanitisation Station setup for the purpose of ensuring that all their Taxis have the capability of a thorough cleansing. Each Taxi is equipped with Alcohol wipes, hand sanitiser, tissues and drivers are given face masks. Manly Cabs have been operating on the Northern Beaches of Sydney since 1953 and have a modern fleet of sanitised vehicles.

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