moonlight over ANZAC Day

ANZAC day 2013
What a nice change… getting up in the early hours but NOT having to cook breakfast for the hordes as Kotoni used to do at the Orange Ex-Services Club.
We were escorted to the waterfront cenotaph by a huge sinking moon which added to the atmosphere and illuminated our way.
Around 300 people attended the solemn ANZAC Day dawn service, held at the Pangai Si’i Cenotaph, Nuku’alofa including His Majesty, King Tupou VI, Representatives from the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions, dignitaries from Japan, China, Korea, France, Holland, Sweden, and church, police, defence force, school and scout groups.
The Tongan military looked splendid in their crisp white uniforms… reminding us of the Indian Raj.
It was an opportunity to acknowledge theTongan troops who had served alongside Australian and New Zealand troops, in various theatres of war, including participating in the peace efforts during the Solomon troubles.
After the service we strolled along to the Australian High Commissioner’s Residence for an open house eggs, bacon, baked beans, Bundy rum, tea, coffee and anzac biscuits.
The rest of the day we just lazed around at home reading and waiting for the power to come on after a blackout… By 5pm no power so we headed off to a new palangi (westerner) haunt ‘the fisherman’s club’ nestled amongst the shipping containers hidden along a wharf. It’s redeeming feature is spectacular sunsets but getting there feels like walking through a Friday night crime set!
We finished off the evening with a pizza and moonlight walk home to lights on and power restored… completing the cycle of a lazy day!

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7 thoughts on “moonlight over ANZAC Day

  1. Helen Snodgrass April 30, 2013 — 9:53 pm

    The days of marching with the school kids have passed. I didn’t even attend the local, Newcastle ceremony but watched a bit of the ABC/24’s broadcast. I then read my maternal grandfather’s brief autobiography, or at least the section of it recounting his 0630 April 25 landing at Gallipoli. It is an unemotional account of the drownings as they left landing craft in deep water with heavy packs, assembling on the beach to be picked off by snipers, scrambling up Shrapnel Gully, mates being shot either side of him and finally a wounding resulting in his withdrawal to a hospital ship, Egypt and then Australia where he trained troops till the end of the war. Eerie stuff. Bashed out on an old typewriter, the occasional correction and all. He continued to be a service man in many community organisations until his death in 1970. RIP stolid adventurer Pop. William Ackerman Grayston.


  2. Your ANZAC day ceremony sounded very dignified & serene. We could hear the band nearby at Caringbah RSL about 4.30am. My school’s band is one of the longest serving bands in the Sydney march, & for once it was a beautiful sunny day. On the whole the weather has been stunning, apart from last wknd out of the blue which was torrential rain. Our Terrigal wknd was a nice change, esp when we discovered the hotel offered a free kids club! Woo hoo I hit the shops for an hr to support the local economy of course. Back to work Tues & a busy T2. Exciting times for you with Veronica’s visit soon xx


  3. A memorable Anzac Day indeed. I thought about going to the Dawn Service but that’s as far as it went. But Ali, her kids and I did go for an Anzac walk at Mt York, down Lockyer’s Way to Hartley Vale ,starting with an Anzac boil up and bickies at the top, then an Anzac lunch at the Wattle Cafe at Blackheath. (Am I I overdoing the Anzac bit?? )


  4. What a great change…will think of you both as the leaves fall and we start putting the heating on…Enjoy your year. Valerie


  5. I was involved in a search and rescue (not for anyone I knew) at the Borenore caves whilst enjoying a relaxing family day out. All emergency services (ambo, fire, helicopter, SES, police, ranger etc) on the scene very promptly and very impressively. People involved all safe and found despite having fallen quite a way. Came home to full moon and cup of tea to steady the adrenallin.


  6. What a memorable and amazing ANZAC Day. Well spent. I love the description and the idea of sipping Bundy Rum with baked beans and ANZAC biscuits!!!
    We had a quiet one with windy cold weather, so good that yours was more temperate….. I was reminiscing about our ANZAC day 16 years ago spent at Tumbulgum with Sal and Brian and Cath + Steve. What wonderful times we have shared together over the years. Sending lots of love to you both. Xx TT


  7. Veronica pansaru April 25, 2013 — 8:21 pm

    Ours? Compared to ” yours ” low key..but also significant and enjoyable. I was in the company of Ross, Kris and Lesley…..AND we also enjoyed a full moon as we dined on fish and chips at Kingscliff sea shore.


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