ANZAC Day

Yet again New York has surprised me – in the very heart of Manhattan, in the Rockefeller Center on 5th Avenue, there is an ANZAC Memorial garden. Compliments of the influence of Nola Luxford-Dolberg, a Kiwi woman who apparently was the best connected New Zealander in 1940’s New York, the gardens have been used exclusively for the annual ANZAC service each year since 1941. Today I was a guest of the Consul General of Australia at the Commemoration Service which was quite different to any I have attended before. Apart from the extraordinary environment, with the spires of St Patrick’s Cathedral rising up behind the reflecting pool of the gardens, it was the speeches that made this service so poignant. There were representatives of many countries, and words were shared that talked of the loss and the legacy of all sides of the conflict. But the speech of the Consul General of Turkey created a picture I had not been aware of before. The losses from their side, as the Turks defended their homeland, were so great that in 1915 there were no graduates from the schools and universities in Istanbul. Now Sean and I are going to Istanbul very shortly. I shall feel very different as I explore and exclaim about the food and the markets and the bazaars. We are traveling as free people in a country that freely allows us to be, and we are able to do this because of everything that has happened since April 25th all those years ago. I salute the generosity of spirit of the people that have helped to make this possible. Lest we forget.

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6 Responses to ANZAC Day

  1. Sam Grumont says:

    Your post brought back memories of the time a group of AUSSIE education consultants attended the ANZAC service at the same area of the Rockefeller Center in 2002. my strongest memory is that the Australian speech from John Howard was cringeworthy in it’s jingoism compared with a moving speech from NZ prime minister Helen Clark. we lived in New York from 1999 to the end of 2003 – a great time and your blog posts evoke fond memories.

    • Thanks Sam – and to Helen Clarke for providing some Antipodean pride. Your blog will have me on point for MAMIL’s – especially as I have just come in from the 5 boro bike ride where they were in abundance….

  2. Rob Richardson says:

    Hi Gabrielle,
    Steve Bracks former Premier of Victoria has just been appointed consul General to N Y.
    My former local member i might get an invite to ANZAC day function next year ?
    Regards,
    Rob

  3. Gail Munro McClain says:

    According to a biography of Nola Luxford-Dolberg, my father,
    Robert Carleton-Munro as president of the New Zealand club
    of New York City was part of the distinguished group dedicating
    the garden.
    Can anyone verify that for me?
    Also, if I were to. Is it New York City, is the garden open to
    the public

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