Every 25th of April, Aussies commemorate the day they proved to the world of their bravery, their value of mateship and their willingness to sacrifice for the greater good.
Monday is Anzac Day, similar to the Philippine’s Araw ng Kagitingan a couple of days ago, Australia is also remembering their heroes. These are the soldiers who courageously fought and died during the First World War.
Here is a quick trivia about what the ANZAC Day is all about:
ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
April 25, 1915 is the day ANZAC landed on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey. This is the first major military action fought by ANZAC during the First World War.
This major military mission happened 13 years after Australia become a federal government. The country automatically side with Britain when it declared war in August 1914.
The mission of the ANZAC soldiers was to capture Constantinople or Istanbul, an ally of Germany.
Although unsuccessful, the death of more than 8,000 soldiers and their values became part of the national identity of Australians and Kiwis.
In recent years, the ANZAC holiday also serves as a day to commemorate soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War and other military and peacekeeping operations.
ANZAC holiday is observed every 25th of April, regardless in what day it falls on every year. It is observed with different ceremonies at war memorials all over the country. The dawn service and the march are some of the traditional ways of remembrance.
Poppies became a symbol of the ANZAC. It is the first sign of life in Northern France and Belgium after 4 years of bloodshed. In Australia, red poppies signify that the people has not forgotten about the services and sacrifices of the ANZAC.
Rosemary is worn by Australians on this day to symbolize remembrance. The Greeks during the ancient times believe this herb to aid in creating stronger memories.
The ANZAC biscuits’ origin are both claimed by Aussies and Kiwis but regardless of who really did create the first recipe, this biscuit served the soldiers well during the war. It was made to have a long shelf life, long enough to withstand the several months of travel from Australian waters to the shores of Gallipoli.
ANZAC Day also observe certain rules that are similar across the states. This rule mandates as to which businesses can operate and on what time. For New South Wales, most businesses are not allowed to open before 1 pm except for small shops including bookshops, chemists, news agencies, petrol stations and convenience stores.
There are also trading areas that are exempted by law, check them out here.
So if most stores and entertainment venues are close, what are the things we can do on ANZAC Day?
Here’s what’s on in and around Sydney:
Bridge Climb ANZAC Day Dawn Service
BridgeClimb Sydney, 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks
4 am to 8:15 am
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge arches for a spectacular view of the Dawn Service for a memorable way to experience and reflect on the important occasion.
In partnership with Soldier On. Ticket proceeds will be donated to them for their work with the wounded warriors. Tickets cost $353 for adults and $253 for children. Phone 02 8274 7777 for queries and bookings.
2016 ANZAC Day Dawn Service
Cenotaph, Martin Place
4:30 – 6 am
Catafalque contingent Ode of RemembranceLast Post bugle call A minute silence Reveille played on bugle Laying of wreath
Extra morning train and bus service will be available for the day call 131 500 or visit transportnsw.info to know more
Anzac Day Memorial Service
Pyrmont War Memorial, Union Square
8:30 – 9:30 am
Readings, prayers, hymns and short address Wreath laying at the local Union Square.Catafalque party by the members of the army reserve through the University of Sydney regiment
Morning tea at a local restaurant afterwards.
2016 ANZAC Day March
Elizabeth St. and Martin Pl, Sydney
9 am to 1 pm
March route: intersection of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street down to Liverpool Street Act of Remembrance: at the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park South.
Commemoration Service: next to the Pool of Remembrance, 12:30pm Sunset Service: Cenotaph, Martin Place, 5pm Events will be aired on ABC TV and available on iView after the event.
Redfern ANZAC Day March & Commemoration Service
Redfern Park, Redfern, NSW
12 pm to 4 pm
Launch of the Photographic Exhibition at the Redfern Community Centre.
The march from the Block to Redfern Park, 2pm. Laying of the weath, 2:40pm.
The event is free and open to all interested.
Redfern Community Centre
25 April, Monday to 18 June, Saturday 12pm – 5 pm
*** Saturday access depends on the other events in the venue
“Serving the Country” is the Photographic Exhibition launched at the Redfern ANZAC Day March & Commemoration Service.
The exhibit will run for almost 3 weeks. It is also free and open to all interested parties.
***The photographs are a collection of images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who also served the Australian Defence Force during the First World War.The exhibit aims to recognize and honour their participation despite “being denied the most basic rights of citizenship.” By acknowledging their presence and contribution, we help reconcile our past and close the gap between the indigenous and the white Australians.
Lastly, on 25th of April, 2016:
Gallipoli: Untold Stories
Customs House, 31 Alfred St. Circular Quay, Sydney
6:30 pm – 9:30pm
Untold ANZAC stories by Professor Bruce Scates from a “paper richly illustrated with rare archival material.” The story will “reveal the pilgrimage to Gallipoli” and talk about the achievements and failings of the Centenary Project and the “great lost opportunity of 2015” when we fail to repatriate the “Gallipoli Koran.
”Refreshments at 6:30 before the program starts.
Limited places, registration is a must. Program is free of charge.
If you do not feel like going out, why not look up a recipe of the ANZAC biscuit and bake a batch or two at home?
The ANZAC Day has had its centennial just last year, everyone made a huge deal out of it to make sure that history is remembered and proper respects are given to the thousands of brave soldiers who died a hero since the First World War. This year may not be as grand as the last, but let us make sure to pass the ANZAC story to our little ones.
As Filipinos in Australia, we may not have the strongest connection with this holiday but like all Aussies, we should aim to instill in ourselves the values of the fallen ANZAC soldiers. These values are common and it resonates in our own Filipino identity.
Let us all celebrate together with our Aussie friends and remember the heroes as one country and one human race standing bravely for freedom, fighting together against injustice, and willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
Special thanks to Hastings District Council for the main image.
I am a mother, a wife and a technology loving Filipina who loves reading hi-fiction books (dragons!) , good stories, dancing, laughter, lying on the grass and eating balut. I am born and raised in the Philippines and now resides in Australia but finds myself in the Philippines for at least 3 months a year. I am part of the Filipino Australian Community and have been living between Australia and the Philippines since 2007.