Thursday 25 April 2013 by Stuart Baines. 1 comment
Anzac Connections, Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize 2012

Today is an interesting day for the kids. we spend sometime exploring further but the spend the afternoon rehearsing for ANZAC Day. The department of Veterans Affairs is generous enough to provide a role for the student for the activities before the dawn service and then at the Lone Pine service later in the day. It is an amazing opportunity for them. We started the day with a cruise that gives the perspective of what the Australians would seen when they landed at the beaches. We drifted of ANZAC cove and the formidable obstacle of the terrain is never more apparent. It is a morning that offers the opportunity for a broader perceptive of the landscape. Kevin is posting today for the students;

The main highlight of the day was the ANZAC day rehersal at Lone Pine. To be given the opportunity to read out epitaphs at such a special and unique event is an unforgettable experience. I felt honoured to be part of such a ceremony that pays enormous respect to the fallen Australian soldiers. Hopefully I read my epitaph piece slowly and clearly on the day since I have the unfortunate tendenacy to speak too quickly. I want to ensure that I do it justice since the words that I am reading are filled with such love and respect. I also had a chance to look at the many grave markers of Australian troops around Lone Pine. Although this isn't the first memorial we have visited, that feeling of great sacrifice and admirable courage never leaves me. Todays rehersal really reminded me of how sacred the land at Gallipoli is. It gives us all the opportunity to always remember the tragic but heroic events and actions during the Gallipoli campaign. After the long rehersal we visited Turkish and New Zealand war memorials. The sights around the memorials are so serene and peaceful. To see former enemies during such a bloody campaigh now honouring the fallen troops of both sides is very special and reminds us that society can recover from the tragedies of war and re-create the bonds of unification and friendship. I cannot thank the organisers of this prize enough for giving me this opportunity and I will spend the rest of the six days always honouring and remembering the Australian soldiers who fought on this very sacred land.




Sounds like everyone is learning a lot and having a good time. Looking forward to hearing from Bryce and seeing everyone at the ceremonies.