Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lest we forget

They grow not old, as we who 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.

Today, of course, is Anzac Day.

We got up early, and attended the dawn service at Sunnybank RSL - march started at 4:15am, and the service proper started at 4:28am, the customary time.

Afterwards, we trundled over to the Salisbury RSL, where we have attended the dawn service in years gone by. It was listed in the paper & on the RSL web site as having a "stand to", and Anthea was curious as to what that was.

It turns out they, also, had a dawn service, starting at 5am (I think the RSL members there are a bit older on average than the folks at Sunnybank). We arrived just a few minutes after they started, so we attended that one as well, and followed up by partaking of the "gunbarrel breakfast" they put on. Slice of bread, with a sausage, onion, bacon, and fried egg if you want, along with tea or coffee and "something to warm the cockles of your heart", as the MC called it - i.e. a tot of rum in your coffee.

No, I didn't have any of that. Not a big fan of rum, myself, and particularly not before 6am... :-D

There was a good turnout at both services - I'd guess about 200-odd at Sunnybank for the 4:28 service, and probably another hundred at Salisbury. It's nice to attend these smaller suburban services, they tend to be fairly atmospheric.

It's tempting to go in to town one year to attend the service at Anzac Square, but I gather that that one is very crowded - thousands of people usually attend.

Then again, maybe we'll go to a service at Villers Bretonneux or one of the other battlefields. Not sure if my granddad fought in that particular battle - I'll have to look up the history of the units he was posted to, to see where he served.

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