April 25th is a very significant day for Australians, New Zealanders and even to the Turkish. It’s the day where we remember and recognise the events of the same day in 1915 when the ANZAC’s – Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, and where they were defeated by a better prepared opponent, and not helped by some military incompetence (but that’s another story).
Living outside of Australia adds a slightly different approach to this day. If I was in Australia, it would most probably mean an early rise to attend a dawn service, followed by a sleepy breakfast of pick me up coffee, only to prepare oneself for a day of beer drinking and playing two-up, the one day it’s legal outside of a casino, and maybe a bit of AFL with the now traditional ANZAC Day game.
When I was in Pakistan, my day did involve beer….and a bit of an early rise to watch the event live from Gallipoli streamed on my laptop, then some beer and footy, even if Pakistan strictly speaking doesn’t have beer! There was however nothing to do with ANZAC Day (nor much of an Aussie Expat community) to share the day with! It didn’t matter too much about this, I could still recognise and share the day in my own special way, as the day does hold significant meaning to me, and to my family – my children still don’t seem to have grasped the importance of, nor the family symbolism of the day, but one day they will hopefully, as I am not sure I did too much when younger, as the importance came on me a bit later.
Being in South Africa, where there are more western expats somewhere out there, just as with last year, I cannot find anything which indicates any event or activity relating to ANZAC Day anywhere, so I guess again it will be up to me to do my own little thing, in my own little way.
I did this last week travel to Hermanus, a town about 150km from Cape Town and saw a WW1 and 2 remembrance epitaph which reminded me of almost every Australian city or town, where the names of the fallen from that area are shown for eternal memory. Clearly the impact of WW1 and 2 has a significant place here in South Africa, just not for the Aussie and Kiwi reasons, as you would expect.
So it’s a non Aussie ANZAC Day, with work and the usual routine to deal with, but deep down, no matter how it is remembered, I will pay my own respects to all who fell, and more specifically to my great grandfather…RIP
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Remembering Sgt. Maj. E.C.A Ozanne and all the fallen from ANZAC Day..
Lest We Forget