ANZAC day, 25th April, has become increasingly acknowledged amongst Australian people and is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It is a public holiday for all, shops cannot open until after 10am to allow the many services and marches by past servicemen to take place.
At 6am, despite the steady rain, 100 people or so gathered at the Hawkesdale Streetscaping Area in the main median strip of Hawkesdale to attend the annual Dawn service for Anzac Day. The members of HADDAC (Hawkesdale and District Action Committee) are primarily responsible for the organisation of this service.
The service was led by Mr John Ralph, Assistant Principal, Hawkesdale P12 College with readings by the Hawkesdale College School Captains and the lowering and raising of the Australian flag by the Hawkesdale Scout Group.
We were reminded that this day was a time to recall all those who served in war, not only the survivors but those who did not return. Information on the Attack on Beersheba and the major events impacting on Australia from World War 2 1939-1945:- the Battle of Singapore 1942 and the bombing of Darwin. Note it is the 75th Anniversary of World War II.
This was followed by
- the Reflection Poem – Ode to the ANZACS by K K Liston
- Reflection of the Centenary of World War I (1917) and the 75 Anniversary of World War II 1942
- Wreath Laying by community representatives
- The Ode
- The Last Post played by James Baudinette
- One Minute Silence
- Reveille or Rouse on the Bugle
- The National Anthem
Our flag remained at half – mast until 12 noon. HADDAC, Hawkesdale Scouts and the Hawkesdale Memorial Hall committee offered a cup of tea/coffee, sausages in bread and Anzac Biscuits immediately after the service.
Our second linkup with Kate Leeming was a fascinating one. Students are seeing history being made. Kate videoconferenced in to us from minus 15 degrees in Whitehorse the capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory to us where we are experiencing 30 degrees in Victoria. Kate had just arrived in the chilly weather (-10 degree) of Yukon, Canada. Polycom Video conferencing equipment was used to videoconference her in from the home that she was staying in.
This is our last videoconference connection before Kate sets out on her bike riding trek across the Arctic circle. Kate is an Australian adventurer who will be the first to ride her bike across the Arctic. The video and audio was clear. She explained how she actually arrived in Canada before the time that she had left Australia. Kate talked about her specially built bike.
She talked about her preparation for the Arctic bike ride, showed us her fat bike, the first of its kind in the world, specially made by an engineer in Pittsburgh to cope with . Kate also talked about the special clothing requirements and need for layers and different fabrics. When she sweats it is important that her sweat does not freeze. It was particularly interesting to see her show objects such as the fat wheels of her bike, the special hat and mittens and boots etc. Three schools across Victoria linked in to the presentation with each school being given an opportunity to ask a question.
Bayley, from our school asked: “What gave you the idea to ride across snow and ice?”Kate’s answer was that she got the idea when she was cycling through the sand of the Australian outback desert. Always wanted to go to Antarctica so she thought about how she was going to ride – and what sort of bike. Cycling in sand at home, it is really hard – If it slips a bit, it can skid. She needed a system and a bike that would allow her to explore. The snow is a challenge but so beautiful.
You can follow Kate’s journey at http://kateleeming.global2.vic.edu.au