Anzac Day Thoughts
Anzac Day is a grand day for Australia as we think of those who have fought for our country in the wars over the years. I often ponder on why there are wars – seems a hideous thing to do, to set out to overcome and kill the enemy. And as I write this, I wonder if there is not another fight on the horizon. These days I often think about my memories of this special day. I have no memories of any involvement in Anzac services way back then.
My Parents’ Military Life
I don’t know a great deal about their history. I do now they both served and I have details of their service. But they didn’t talk about it very much. I know that Dad was based in Alice Springs and became very sick. (I did hear that there was some understanding that it may have been from the truck/s that delivered food to the camp in the same truck that also removed the sewerage from the camp.)
Dad ended up in Melbourne in the Heidelberg Hospital and on his discharge from the hospital was discharged from the Army, but a day or so lady re-enlisted but was restricted to Australia. No overseas service for him due to his “illness”. So he served in Adelaide. I know it disappointed him that he never got overseas with the Army!
That is where he met my mother, who was also serving – in Port Adelaide in the signals section. That is where they met and fell in love. They were married in 1943, and my mother had to leave the service.
I know they were both proud of their respective service, but I have often wondered why they did not encourage my sister or me to consider a career in the ADF. There was never any discussion about it as we reached our late teens. I’m not sure that I would have wanted them to “urge” us to consider such a career, but I wondered why it was never discussed.
Anzac Day March
I have no recollection of attending any Anzac Day ceremony with my parents. I have learned that the celebrations that we know today, did not happen in those early days, and that it wasn’t until the 1980’s that it became a big event. I know my sister attended events with my parents, but I’d long since left home, so I never got to spent “Anzac” time with them.
I have always enjoyed marching, and on Thinking Day (February 22nd), or the closest Saturday there was always an event in Government House, in Adelaide. I never missed one, perhaps for ten years. What I enjoyed most of all was marching to one of the military bands along the pathways in Government House. On the occasions I have attended Anzac Day Marches, I really wished I could join the march!
(I often watch the Chinese military marching on YouTube – their precision always impresses me.)
Last year I joined a friend at the front of the unit block where we live and played some of the music on my phone. It disappointed us that no one else joined us. This year I watched several ceremonies and the march in Brisbane on television.
Maybe next year, if there are no Covid restrictions I will go into the city to watch the march!
(Anzac Day in China – 2008
For Aussies around Shanghai in 2008, and registered with the Australian government as being in China, it was an exciting time when we received an invitation to attend the Anzac Day ceremony in the French Concession area of Shanghai. Two friends and I were able to attend this salubrious occasion! It was full of pomp and ceremony, with folk from Australia and New Zealand – a ceremony followed by breakfast and a sneak peak around the building. I only wish we had taken photos!!!)