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.
April 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landing in Turkey. Australian and New Zealand On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. April 25th is called ANZAC day – Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and is celebrated every year, with a public holiday in Australia, special Dawn services and public marches by military veterans and personnel.
150 poppies made by the students
Each year, we hold a full school assembly to commemorate this event. Students speak about what the day means. Everyone is encouraged to bring flowers from home to lay on our Australian flag which is draped over the stairway to our stadium stage. Students have made 250 poppies, one for every member of our school community, and placed them at the entrance to our stadium.
Skype with New Zealand
Due to the nature of the special centenary, commemorations are even more special this year. Our grade 5/6 class linked up with a class from Auroa School, Taranaki where Myles Webb (our contact) is a deputy principal. The goal of the connection was to compare traditions associated with Anzac Day. Students in our school have been making poppies, diaramas, posters and more. These were shared over the webcamera. The NZ students told ours that although they have a special ceremony on Anzac Day, they do not really do much more than that. Our school will plant a lone Pine tree given to us by our Moyne Shire. Read the significance of the lone pine.
The lone pine tree
This led to discussions about why there are differences in commemorations, insired each other to further reseach the alliance, the history and what it means today. I wonder whether we could linkup with a school in Turkey and find out whether this day means anything to them? If so, how do they remember it and commemorate it?
Do you share special commemorations with other countries? If so, what and how?
Students make poppies
Anzac Day is a special day on the calendar for Australian and New Zealand residents. It is commemorated with a public holiday on April 25th when we remember all those Australians and New Zealanders who have served their countries in wartime.
Our school participated in a number of activities to celebrate and commemorate this day. It has been a time for learning in history and humanities, art and cooking classes.
Our annual school Anzac Day service was held on the 24th April, with all students and staff, together with some community members in attendance.
Our program went as follows:-
- Welcome and Introduction by our Assistant Principal, Mr Ralph
- ANZAC Requiem (In memory of the Fallen): by Sarah, one of our student leaders
- P-6 students, then 7-12 STUDENTS – Laying of flowers – symbolic of the beauty that exists in the world around us, and of respect to those who are no longer able to enjoy that beauty
- Caitlyn (a student leader) read The Ode (a traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony)
- 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.
- Playing of the Last Post
- One minute of silence
- Belinda (a student leader) read ‘In Flanders Fields’ (poetry which is another traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony)
- The National Anthem
- Waltzing Matilda
Flowers lay on our Australian flag
A special Dawn Service takes place in Hawkesdale at 6:00am on April 25th. The flowers are taken to the Reflection Space for this ceremony and students from our school will be in attendance and actively participating.
The Hawkesdale Dawn Service
Students in a number of classes baked Anzac Biscuits. The wonderful aroma wafted through the corridors and they tasted even better than they smelt (or looked). See one of the popular recipes
Popular Anzac biscuits
Does your school commemorate such events? If so how? If from another country, do you have special days like this to remember those who fought for your country?
School captains pay respect
As if to reflect the grateful thanks and the sense of national pride of those who attended the Dawn Anzac Day service at Hawkesdale, two kookaburras could be heard laughing just as we were about to commence our solemn service.
Anzac Day is a day and time for reflection, to acknowledge those who have fought in wars to defend our country. According to our Australian War Memorial site
ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
It is 98 years since the Anzacs landed in Gallipoli. Hawkesdale now has a reflection space as part of its main streetscaping. This is the second year that a Dawn service has been held. More than 200 people attended. The scout and cub group had a sleepover at the local hall and were in force as part of the gathering. An ANZAC requiem, Reflection Poem – Ode to the Anzacs by K. K. Linton, an ANZAC prayer, a student reflection and the Ode were read by Hawkesdale P12 College students and members of the Scout group. Wreaths were then laid by community groups and community members. The service finished with the Last Post, a one minute silence and finally the Reveille or Rouse as the flag was raised by the scouts. After our national anthem, the flag was lowered to half mast until lunchtime.
At the end of the service HADDAC (Hawkesdale and District Development Action Committee) offered a sausage in bread, hot drinks and anzac biscuits to those who attended.
When connecting with other schools across the world, we are often asked what festivals and holidays we celebrate. One special event is recognized today, April 25th – Anzac Day which is a public holiday across Australia.
It is a time where many cities and towns hold commemorative services, often starting at dawn to remember the role that our soliders and their counterparts in New Zealand played in World War I. Parades will also take place in the morning in many centres, where ex-servicemen and/or their family members proudly march and declare their role in keeping our country safe.
ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. On this date in 1915, the Australian and New Zealand forces landed in Gallipoli to attack the Turkish forces. This campaign went on for eight months, during which time there were many casualties.
As there is no school on that day, we held our commemorative service on April 24th. This is a time to remember those who have made sacrifices in the past to enable us to enjoy our great country today. As the weather was inclement, students from grades prep to 6 assembled in the stadium, to hear presentations by the year 12 VCE History students. There was a minute’s silence. Students from years prep to 6 had been asked to bring some flowers. They filed past the steps to the stage. These steps had been draped with our Australian flag and the flowers were laid there. Finally, our national anthem was sung, in both our local koori language and then in English.
Hawkesdale hosted a dawn service, at 6am, in their new outdoor reflection area. More than 90 people attended this special event, including the scouts, our school representatives, community members, shire councillors. Several children and older family members proudly wore the medals that their ancestors received from either World War I or II. The service included the following:
- an address by our Master of Ceremonies, Graeme Poynton
- playing of music including the Rouse prior to the lowering of the flag and then the Reveille.
- a prayer of thanks to those who represented our country and for continued peace. This was delivered by Georgia H. a student, who represented our school and the Moyne Youth Council.
- Emma H, representing the Hawkesdale Scouts, read “the Ode”
- a minute’s silence in between the two musical recordings
- the raising of the flag by a scout
- laying of wreaths and flowers
Haddac supplied a sausage in bread, the scouts cooked lots of anzac biscuits and the Hall Committee provided a cuppa in our War Memorial Hall.