Gallipoli Report – 2


by Dr Jacqualine Hollingworth

Dr Jacqualine Hollingworth is Executive Officer of the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. Jacqualine visiting Gallipoli independently of the Simpson Prize contingent, has contributed her thoughts about places and events she experienced.

25 APRIL 2000

On Anzac Day three services were held on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The Dawn Service commemorated the 85th Anniversary of the Allied Landings and was held at the Anzac Commemorative site – the new Gallipoli Peninsula Peace Park at North Beach. The ceremony was scheduled for 5.30 am. Further services were held at Lone pine, where an excerpt from The Anzac Graves of Gallipoli, by M Thwaites was read by a Simpson Prize winner. A ceremony was also held at Chuik Bair to commemorate the August 1915 Offensive mounted by the New Zealanders.

Prior to the opening ceremony the Australian Army Band Sydney gave a musical recital of different Australian and Anzac songs including We Are Australian, Click Go The Shears, Madam Mazelle from Armentiers, etc. Air-Vice Marshal Gary Beck, a director of the Australian War Graves Commission, was MC and introduced Didgeridoo Calling performed by Robert Slockee and the Karanga-Maori Call to Gathering performed by Corporal Lina Tarau. A piper from the New Zealand Defence Force played a lament and the official ceremony began.

The ceremony attempted to bring together a mixture of spiritual readings from the Bible and Christian hymns with readings from traditional poetry and prayers for the fallen, combined with military ceremonials such as the mounting of the Catafaqul party, the Last Post and Reveille. As always the later ceremonial was moving as dawn washed over the hills and ridges of North beach and lit up the ‘Sphinx’, a rocky outcrop named by the Anzacs. Both the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, addressed the crowd estimated at 10,000.

It was gratifying to hear Mr David Cox, the National President of the New Zealand Returned Services Association, repeat the words of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from a speech made in 1934 and reminding us all why we had assembled in the chilly dawn at Gallipoli.

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives …
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnies and the Mehmers to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours …

You, the mourners, who sent your sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears …
Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
After having lost their lives in this land they have become our sons as well …

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