Saturday, May 7, 2011


ANZAC Memorial in Albany, Western Australia
ANZAC Day in Australia is remembering the day that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli (in Turkey) on the morning of 25th of April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918). The day is significant because it marks the beginning of a bloody campaign with many lives lost and the birth of Australia becoming a nation.  According to the website  ANZAC day is now about honouring all servicemen and women who served for their country in any conflict.  "As a result, one day in the year has involved the whole of Australia in solemn ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride for all our men and women who have fought and died in all wars. That day is ANZAC Day - 25 April."

Prior to Easter break Harvey Senior High School had an ANZAC day ceremony.  My year 10 class created posters on Australian Prisoners of War during WW2 or the Kokoda Track (conflict between Australian and Japanese forces in New Guinea) which were on display.  The service was very similar to a Canadian Remembrance Day service.  Students lead the programme and poems were read, solemn speeches and music heard, Last Post played and a moment of silence.  Caleb and Jackson learned about Simpson and his Donkey.  A WWI story about a man who rescued wounded and injured soldiers by carrying them back to safety with his donkey.  Simpson was killed in action, but Duffy, the donkey survived the war.  They also learned how to make ANZAC biscuits - below is a recipe.

Anzac Biscuit Ingredients

1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 oz butter [1/2 cup]
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda [baking soda] 
(add a little more water if mixture is too dry)

Anzac Biscuit Directions

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (or approx 375 degrees F).
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
In a small saucepan over a medium heat (or in a microwave proof jug or bowl in the microwave), combine the butter and golden syrup until the butter has melted.
In a small bowl, combine the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
Add the bicarb and water mixture with the melted butter and golden syrup.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Dollop teaspoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto the greased baking tray.
Don't forget that the biscuits WILL spread during baking, so make sure you leave room for them to spread!  Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Allow the Anzac biscuits to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

The Walker family and my parents and Becky's mom also attended the Harvey ANZAC day service on April 25.  The schools were asked students to march in their uniforms, so the boys participated in the march as well.  Wreaths were laid at the library by many community groups and war veterns (including WW2, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, and Peace Keeping).  We were impressed by the small town community spirit.

Caleb and Jackson leading the charge.

Harvey Senior High School students laying a wreath for remembrance.
The very first picture up top is significant to the ANZAC history, because Albany was the port city where all ANZAC troops assembled before leaving to train in Egypt.  For many soldiers it was the last glimpse of home before being sent to war.  Another interesting fact is that the memorial statue and base was originally standing in Egypt until the Suez Conflict in the 1950's saw bullet holes damage it.  It was then dismantled, repaired and moved to Albany.

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