Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Anzac Day in Sydney

I again spent Anzac day in Sydney. This has become a tradition for me. I accompany my sister to the Dawn Service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place. We need to catch one of the special trains that are provided. It means leaving her home about 3am. As usual the service was packed. I am always proud of the uniting of my country of birth and my country of choice and am proud to sing both anthems.

I have found this excerpt on Youtube. About 6 mins 35 secs the camera pans across the crowd with a clear view of my sister in red top.  I am only slightly in view behind her.
It begins just after the Governor has laid the first wreath. People are looking back at the large screen behind us. Only the very fortunate are able to sit.
This is followed by the most important part of the service - the reciting of the Ode, the sounding of the Last Post, a minute silence and the sounding of Reveille.

This year I was very pleased to discover the Sydney Maori Choir had been invited to sing as well as the Sydney Male Choir who have sung continuously at this service since 1930.
The Maori Choir sang Tama Ngakau Marie

Tama ngākau mārie
Tama a te Atua
Tēnei tonu mātou
Arohaina mai

Murua rā ngā hara
Wetekina mai
Ēnei here kino
Wakararu nei.

Takahia ki raro
Tau e kino ai
Kei pā kaha tonu
Ko nga mahi hē.

Hōmai he aroha
Mōu i mate nei
Tēnei ra e Ihu
Tākina e koe

Tēnei arahina
A tutuki noa
Puta i te pōuri
Whiwhi hari nui.
          Son of peace
Son of God
here we are always.
Show us compassion.

Wipe away our sins,
and unshackle
these evil ties
that are so troublesome.

Trample down
things evil to you
lest they gather strength,
all evil deeds.

Grant that we may have love
for You who died
May this be so Jesus,
that you lead us.

This is where we wish to be led
to a good end,
overcoming darkness
and attaining paradise.

This was the last time we will see the Hon Professor Marie Bashir as Governor of NSW at the Dawn service and later leading the march through the city streets.

She has been a marvellous Governor since 2001. The first woman in that role and I note she is patron of the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service.

As in the past we returned home to watch on TV the March through the city streets which takes about 3 hours. This was followed by the Dawn Service at Gallipoli which I attended in 2002. And following that, the Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Villers Bretonneux, France.  I have already booked to be at that service in 2015.  I have visited the Memorial twice in 2002 and 2007 and my uncle who died on the Somme in 2016 is buried about 25 km away.

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