17 Apr 2012

ANZAC day

No Comments Göteborg, Typically Aussie

The national day of remembrance, ANZAC day, is coming up next Wednesday (April 25). The day is commemorated each year by Australia and New Zealand, originally to honour the members of the Australia/New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), troops sent to Gallipoli (Turkey) during World War I. Nowadays though, the day has become a day for commemorating all those who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

On ANZAC day, ceremonies are held in towns and cities across the nation to acknowledge the service of the veterans and I think the Shrine of Remembrance is the place to go to do so in Melbourne. The Shrine of Remembrance (seen in the photo above) is Victoria’s largest and most visited war memorial and it’s located near the Royal Botanic Gardens just south of the CBD.

Ode of Remembrance

The phrase above is part of British Laurence Binyon‘s poem For the Fallen, which was first published in 1914. The poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time and the poem has, among the Commonwealth, become know as the Ode of Remembrance . The verse above is read at dawn services and other ANZAC tributes and in Australia the line Lest we forget is often added to the end of the ode, which is repeated in response by those listening.

They shall not grow 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.

ANZAC day in Sweden

I just found out today that the day is celebrated here in Göteborg too. Apparently there are some Commonwealth War Graves at the Kviberg Cemetery in Gamlestaden. Evidently quite a few of the ANZAC soldiers were actually Scandinavians (have a look here to find out more). For over 20 years the Australian Embassy has  been organising a commemorative service and a wreath laying ceremony at the site on ANZAC day. The ceremony is a public service and both the Australian and the New Zealand Ambassadors will be attending too. It would have been interesting to check out but unfortunately it’s at 11 am on a work day so that’s not going to happen.

The Mirrabooka Club (Aussies in Gothenburg) also arrange an ANZAC dinner at 6 pm, this year at the Brasserie Lipp. Both the Ambassadors will attend the dinner as well so if you like to catch up with them it’s a great opportunity to do so.  (Pre-registration required)

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