ANZAC 2015

Russell has to take some credit for the crowd. Hundreds and hundreds of people were solemnly assembled when I scooted in to the dawn service at 5.30 on Saturday morning. Not all of the faces were recognisable from the Australian Consulate-sponsored preview of The Water Diviner during the previous week, but many, like myself, would have the thoughtful images of lonely outback stations, the exotic spice markets in Istanbul and the pain of Gallipoli still vivid in their minds. The film was a well timed tribute, because of the 100th anniversary, and almost contrarily, because of the freshness of the telling.

The atmosphere at the Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown Manhattan was completely different from the Rockefeller garden service I have attended in previous years. There were formalities of course, but it felt more like a coming together of people just to be together, rather than to observe protocols. It didn’t seem to matter that Tawera Tahuri could not make her cue to open the ceremony with the New Zealand national Anthem. (Although her magnificent voice was missed.) Instead, the Consul General of New Zealand, The Hon Peta Conn, led the crowd with early morning gusto and that was all that was needed. Ambassador Jim McLay gave a speech, there were readings of Psalms and the laying of wreaths.

Just before the moment of silence, the bugle player, Michael Taylor, gave the best rendition of The Last Post I have ever heard. That man should join the jazz orchestra at the Lincoln center. So we had inspiration and we had respect. And then we had breakfast. Forever onward. What could have been a salute to changing trends, Turkish yogurt, was overlooked in favor of lactose free bircher muesli. But if anyone thought this was too far removed from the traditions of Gallipoli, there were always the Anzac cookies on offer from the Australian Consulate Chef. As far as authenticity was concerned, they were rock solid…


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4 Responses to ANZAC 2015

  1. Lyndl Marshall says:

    What a wonderful day you had, Gabrielle. So honest. Lyndl

  2. Kathy Cree says:

    Sounds splendid ( but it should be ANZAC biscuits).

  3. David Ord says:

    Gabrielle lovely to see such a good turnout with people showing their respect and commemorating our fallen ANZAC heroes
    Well done

  4. Jenn says:

    Such a great account of a most special day. I only wish our holiday had allowed us to pay our respects with you and those who attended that morning.

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