Whanganui veteran Mac McCallion and his partner Raewyn McGuinness were delighted that their neighbours gathered at dawn to help them commemorate Anzac Day on Saturday.
"We dropped notes in everyone's letterboxes inviting them to gather at safe distances to help us hold our own commemoration in Field St," McCallion said.
"It was great to see our neighbours gathering that early in the morning and I was told there were some Scout members there although I couldn't see them in the dark."
McCallion played the Last Post on his bugle at 6am and he was joined by fellow Vietnam War veterans John Hammond and Frank Treves, and UN service veteran Ewen Noble.
While observing safe distancing advice, neighbours listened as Hammond recited the Anzac Ode and the men made speeches, which included praise for frontline workers responding to the Covid-19 emergency.
"We had to do the best we could during this lockdown but I'm pleased to say that there seems to be more of an awareness of what Anzac Day is about this year.
"Maybe because people couldn't attend big gatherings, they were more interested and wanting to mark the day as best they could."
McCallion said he has written letters of thanks to those who attended.
"We really appreciated them getting up early and standing in the dark.
"Afterwards I told them they could all go back to bed while I had a beer."
While the Aramoho neighbours were holding their ceremony, a group of Gonville residents were commemorating Anzac Day outside the McMasters' residence in Bignell St.
"We played the Last Post on a Bluetooth speaker and we could see our neighbours standing at their letterboxes - it was very special," Tawhiao McMaster said.
"Later we also observed the Māori commemoration for the men in our whānau who were soldiers in the Māori Battalion so we had a pretty full-on day."
The young law graduate is working remotely in his home town where he is enjoying spending time with his whānau during level 4 lockdown.
"My nan Cerise and sister Christina live next door to each other so we're in one bubble with my young nephews and I'm the person who does the shopping for our bubble.
"I'm sure everyone in our street knew we would commemorate Anzac Day when they saw the crosses and poppies out front."
Christina McMaster works as a teacher aid and cleaner at Rutherford Junior High and when preparing the school for lockdown she came across a cupboard full of white wooden crosses.
The crosses bear the names of Rutherford pupils' tipuna who served in wars and would normally be erected in the school grounds before Anzac Day.
"Christina thought they should be on display so she asked if she could bring them home and we set them up on the grass out front.
"Nan got us all making poppies and Penata, who is 3, was the glue guy and his brother Roy, who is 7, was the main craftsman."
McCallion said he was also proud of his poppy making efforts.
"We cut up leather coasters and place mats and stuck them on to cardboard disks with blu tack," he said.
"They looked pretty good but I've got no beer mats now."
Many other households in Whanganui placed poppies in windows and on letterboxes where many stood to join a nationwide observation at dawn.