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Ann Britton Outback Photography

ANZAC Day Boulia 2019

The start of Boulia’s 25 April, is like most towns and places that commemorate ANZAC Day around Australia and the World, with a Dawn Service.
Anzac Day (/ˈænzæk/) is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.[1][2] Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).”

The Ode being played still gives me chills.
With great respect, I don’t take photos during The Ode or the minute silence. I feel this time, this minute, is for reflection and to be grateful and should be respected.

I can remember attending the Dawn Service in Boulia after we moved to Goodwood, from Lucknow, in 1996 and there were only (sometimes) three other people and ourselves. A couple of these were ex-servicemen, who took it upon themselves to make sure there was a Dawn Service. It has been absolutely marvellous to see the Dawn Service grow in popularity over the years. Nowadays the Boulia Shire Council organises the Dawn and Day Services including a booklet for use on the day and a keepsake of attending. It is lovely to see our ANZAC day activities being patronised by visiting tourist and service people to our town.
What this morning and this day must have meant to those who lived it and survived. Either on the battlefield or in the countries where the men that did battle come from. Not only Australia and New Zealand. Just reading about ANZAC’s history makes me tear up. We, the privileged, SHOULD be so grateful for the little things in life that some don’t even think of….like the sun appearing every morning…..so many lost their lives so that we could have that privilege, in freedom “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants” Think about it, that is HUGE, in the scheme of things.
How many today haven’t got that freedom?
The one we take for granted every day.
A huge percentage of our population don’t realise the conflict, pain, suffering, enslavement that many in our world, in Australia, deal with every day.
To have so much choice in life, to be well fed, clothed and have shelter from the weather. The little things. Stop, enjoy, be thankful and grateful, every day.
The little things in life, with the right attitude, will and should make you smile. Life is too short, to be too serious, unhappy or miserable over stuff that really doesn’t matter. With the right attitude situations that are serious and sad can be dealt with as best they can.

 

The cockies (cockatoos) and galahs seemed to be wondering what all the fuss was about at the Dawn Service, disrupting their favourite perch sites on the electricity wires in the middle of town. Some being love birds and others “like” Nigels and watching on. Just goes to show, be yourself, amongst a crowd, but be part of someone’s village.
Enjoy the little things in life, happily alone or sharing in a group.

 

 

We then have the day time ANZAC Day Service.
John and Genevieve Hammond, who own and run Boulia’s Desert Sands Motel lead the March/Parade. John wears the medals of Harold Hammond RNZAF, RAF, 2nd World War Navigator who made a career out of the airforce.
( I hope I got Harold’s title correct, I know one of the medals is a Flying Cross. I will have to endeavour to get more detailed and correct information from John)
John and Genevieve organise and host the “volunteer” breakfast,  after the Dawn Service at the Motel, where everyone is welcome to join.
The Boulia State School students, with their teachers, teachers aides, parents and grandparents are next in the march.

Boulia’s local mechanic has obtained and restored a couple of military vehicles and he, Grant Jensen, drives his jeep with its trailer attached, in every ANZAC day service held in Boulia. His passenger is Max Palliser, another local who wears the medals of his service in the Australia Defence force.

Horses and their riders have been part of the Boulia’s ANZAC Day service for a few years now. This year they took part in the Dawn Service for the first time. This year, also for the first time, they have their own banner showing who they represent. The banner is carried by Brooke and Sarah McGlinchey with help from their children Hailey, Wyatt and Samuel.

Our riders and (well behaved) horses are from, left to right, Katie Saunders from Strathabliss riding Fox, Merv Burns from Fort William riding Penny, Kalinda Cluff and Kayla Cluff from Blair Athol. Kalinda riding Rio and Kayla riding Bronco
The horses only had their fly veils off for the March.
The time and trouble these riders have put into making horses a part of our parade is commendable of them. They wanted the Lighthorse represented so they have, with pride and respect, made it happen. I know that they have brought these horse to town, as they all live on properties surrounding the town, several times, so as the horses can get us to the sounds, smells, traffic, other people. Another lot of volunteers in our community, with huge ANZAC spirit, making our ANZAC Day that little bit more special, respected, honoured and remembering the very admirable horses and their sacrifices in the Wars.

My love of the power lines (cough) in photos taken around our cenotaph, is that great, that sometimes they just disappear. Yes I do love photoshop for all the right reasons 😀 I thought these horses and their riders deserved to be highlighted all to themselves, with cenotaph and flags.

In this photo Padre Ellis, Sam Beauchamp, Rick Britton, Max Palliser

The students of Boulia State School their teachers, teachers aide and parents with locals waiting for the ANZAC Day Service to start.

An Anzac Day Poem

It’s just a simple service in a little place I know, when steady stars are paling and the sleepy earth wakes slow, with the greasy smell of morning in a little town at dawn, as with sleepy eyes and stiffened limbs we stifle back a yawn.

There isn’t any grand parade of marching or a band, but a little group of blokes who watch and think and stand.
There isn’t any bugler to play a sad Last Post, but from the midst of memories, the past steals like a ghost.

And all the intervening years the busy mind will bridge, to deserts harsh, the beaches cold and ragged jungle ridges, to laughter, fear, a thousand things, the faces and the jokes, and how it all comes back again, just standing with the blokes.

It’s just a simple service while the dawn is breaking red, it’s not the words a fellow hears, but those that stay unsaid. It’s not the glow of glory that the fleeting moment lends, it’s the memories in the morning-memories of your friends.

My favourite ANZAC poem. Read every year at the Day Service in Boulia. First started by Ron McGlinchey. I have had the pleasure of reciting this poem at the Day Service in Boulia and this year Genevieve Hammond had the job of doing so.
Mayor Rick Britton (aka #BossMan, same hat, different title) addressing the Day Service and Boulia Shire Council’s CEO Lynn Moore.
Boulia Shire Mayor Rick Britton’s introduction to the ANZAC Day’s service

It was on 25 April 1915 that the armies of Australia and New Zealand entered into their premier battle of the First World War, at Gallipoli, Turkey. At the time, Australia had only been recognised as a federal commonwealth for thirteen years.

Many Australians were sympathetic to the United Kingdom, which they regarded as the motherland. So the volunteer armies of Australian and New Zealand, eager to fight the good fight in the war, bravely landed on the shore of the Gallipoli Peninsula with the intent to capture and secure a safe passage for Allied navies.

At Gallipoli, the ANZACs faced off with one of the fiercest armies history has ever known. Despite landing under the cover of darkness, the ANZACs were met with immediate bombardment and gunfire. On the shores of Gallipoli, the Australian and New Zealand armies fought for eight months forcing a stalemate. Eight thousand ANZAC soldiers lost their lives before the Allies called for an evacuation.

While the operation itself was not a success, the valour and determination shown by ANZACs, the “Knights of Gallipoli,” were immediately commemorated in Australia, London and even at the Allies’ camp in Egypt in 1916. Parades and ceremonies were held in their honour, and even those who were wounded in combat were a part of the parade while they were still recovering.

By the 1920s, the day had become a way to memorialise the sixty thousand Australian soldiers who died in the First World War. By the next decade, all Australian states had a form of celebration for ANZAC Day, and many of the traditions we still carry out today had already taken shape. Forevermore, the 25th of April would be known as the day Australia arrived as a force in the world.

The pride and grief of Australia following Gallipoli formed a bond so strong that it made a statement to the world that we had come of age and that our armed forces and our people were truly of one nation and by coming together on 25 April each year this spirit of national unity is rekindled. ANZAC Day reminds us that wars are to be avoided, but when necessary we must stand up for our values, it requires us to reflect on the past with pride, but also to look ahead and build on the achievements of our predecessors.

ANZAC Day is a day to remember all men and women of the Australian Defence Force, current and former including those lost in training, on operations, the wounded, injured and ill.

How much better the Australian Hotel looks without power lines obstructing it

Padre Ellis, each year that he has addressed the Day Service in Boulia, has engaged us in stories both happy and sad, full of reflection and thought-provoking. He also leads us in prayer, hymns, and song. It is nice to have a voice singing our National Anthems, both Australian and New Zealand, along with the recorded music.
Kalinda Cluff, part of the Lighthorse representation, read a poem for the horses that never returned from the War.

No matter if you helped cooked the curry for breakfast, work on the council, or wear a suit coat to the ANZAC service, when it is time to pack up the chairs, table and other equipment needed to make the service happen, it is all hands on deck to get the job done, so we can all get to smoko.

Not too many people could say that went to smoko in Boulia in an Army Jeep on ANZAC Day. Neither can I, but Grant can. What a great addition this vehicle and trailer are to our parade. It shows an example of true ANZAC spirit. To purchase, restore and want to share with his community, in such reconstructed respectful detail is a credit to Grant. Bonus, the town and its visitors get to enjoy having an army jeep as part of their day.
Boulia Shire Council hosted a scrumptious smoko, for the general public, in the Boulia’s Shire Hall.

Our ANZAC Day made the papers The Mount Isa Star and The Queensland Country Life

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