Today was Mr G's birthday. It has also been ANZAC Day. I love both days for very different reasons...but also how they're inextricably linked.
For my overseas readers that may not know what ANZAC Day is let me explain. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. This Day is a rare remembrance day shared by two independent countries. Originally the day was set aside to remember the Australians and New Zealanders who died at Gallipoli in the 1st World War. Now its held to remember, support and pay homage to those who've fought and died in all wars. ANZAC Day is a special public holiday.
The day starts out with us getting up and out of bed very early. We get up, get dressed, get Molly's collar and lead on and head out to walk to the centre of Lane Cove Village and the dawn ceremony.
The most solemn and touching part of every ANZAC Day is the dawn ceremony. This timing is linked - again - to the landing at Gallipoli by the ANZAC troops which happened at dawn on an awful day. They were slaughtered. Now people from all walks of life - children, teens, young adults, women, men and those still standing with medals on their jackets - come together at dawn in every community to remember. The motto of the day is "Lest We Forget". The service tends to be one of remembering the people, the individuals that served. It doesn't glorify war. It doesn't go on about God being on 'our' side. It glorifies the Australian sense of 'mateship'.
|Not a very good shot through the crowd this morning of the ceremonial cross and the ceremony. |
There was a very large crowd there this morning.
The ceremony is followed by coffees with mates, catching up with friends and then on to the pub! Or, if you've got the energy, a good pub crawl...a bite of lunch and then a game of two-up. Two-up is a gambling game that is outlawed every day of the year except ANZAC Day. Basically the patrons of the pub gather around a big circle, schooners (large glasses of beer) in hand and bet on the throw of 2 coins. HEADS! TAILS! Everyone shouts and then the call "Come in Spinner" quiets everyone down as a member of the crowd is given a piece of wood with the coins to toss in the air. The outcome is celebrated or commiserated - depending if you won or lost - all with a laugh, a pat on the back and big smiles. I love it.
Unfortunately, this year, there was more boat loading to do - so no two-up or pub crawl. We had our coffee and walked home so Mr G could open his birthday presents. I gave him fishing gear and a personal life beacon - which is a little EPIRB device that can pin point a person in the water if in a Man Overboard situation.
Then we left for the yacht club with another car load of "stuff" for our trip. The total number of wine bottles loaded so far - 96!
All in all a very enjoyable day.