Brant Robinson has lived 102 years and cannot remember a time when there wasn't an Anzac service since he returned from serving in World War II.
"There's always been dawn services and other services since I got back from the war," the Moana House, Whangamata, resident said.
"I don't go to the dawn services now like I've done over the years, and I used to go on parades with the RSA but that's all out this year.
"Maybe next year, I may live that long."
Brant, fellow veteran Roy Brookes and D-Day veteran Fred Amess will this year don their jackets with medals in honour of those who lost their lives in the war for a different sort of remembrance.
Fred will be the special guest at Tairua Residential Care on Saturday where he had to move to from Whangamata during level 4 lockdown.
Unable to leave the home or receive visitors, the Normandy veteran — who usually heads up the parade in Whangamata — was emotional as he went outside with his medals on for a photo, and staff placed a flag alongside poppies made by elderly residents.
"I'm overwhelmed with what you're doing here for me now. I did what I had to do. I'm a bit sad," he said, as the emotions rose.
"A man of 96 should be bearing up."
The occasion brings on sharp memories for Fred, an able seaman on the winch house that let the ramp down at landings in France, sending off the "tank boys" at the Battle for Normandy, and later, the Battle for Walcheren.
This week he recalled the moments when he had come off his watch on the wheel while sailing towards France.
"The RAF were flying above us, there was the hum of the planes and the Airborne boys were going overhead. I always remember how the two propellers on the stern were stirring the water up and creating phosphorescence.
"It's locked in up there," he said, pointing to his head.
Fred was 17 when he joined the local home guard, which meant he was "allowed to go to the pubs when you were 17, instead of 18".
His late wife, Nellie, was in the Navy along with his brothers, Ken and Don — men who have since "crossed the bar" (died).
Fred sees Anzac Day as an important memorial day.
"I get a little bit emotional about it because it brings the memories back. I really don't look forward to it but I feel I have to take part, as a memorial. Whenever I've been fit enough, I've gone [to parades].
"On Saturday I'll probably be watching TV to see what's going on in the rest of the country."
Fred is a member of the Normandy Veterans' Association and attended an annual Christmas luncheon at Otumoetai last year, an even more important event for him now that Covid-19 has prevented Anzac parades or gatherings.
Instead, the RSA is suggesting that those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom be commemorated during level four lockdown by us standing at letterboxes at 6am on Saturday.
Krishna Buckman of Waihi constructed an impressive display in her garden, recognising World War I nurses who served overseas and in support of New Zealand's frontline health workers.
Krishna is a member of Waihi Heritage Vision, the group responsible for the Tunnelling Company Memorial at Gilmour Reserve where Anzac Day events are traditionally held each year.
"Stand at your letterbox, at the front door, in your lounge rooms, balconies, in your driveway. Wherever you are in the world, stand with us and take a moment to remember our fallen — but please stay within your 'bubble'," the RSA and New Zealand Defence Force said.
A live broadcast of the official dawn service on the internet and national radio begins at 6am and veterans will wear their medals, just as they would have for the official public gathering.
Brant was impressed to hear about English World War II veteran Tom Moore who set himself the target of walking the length of his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.
He has raised more than 30 million pounds for England's health service through his 25m lengths of his family's garden in Bedfordshire, UK.
"I think it was a wonderful idea and I couldn't believe how much money people donated towards it. It obviously impressed a lot of people," Brant said.
Brant walks daily around the grounds at Moana House, and with a list of activities available in Moana House and the title of bowls champion, he thinks he could probably keep up with Tom.