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Anzac Day 2019

13 May 2019

The Australian High Commission and New Zealand High Commission hosted an Anzac Day Dawn Service at Freedom Park in Pretoria on the 25 April 2019. The commemorative service acknowledged Australians and New Zealanders who served and are currently serving in conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The legend of the Anzac spirit was born in 1915 during the Allied campaign on Gallipoli in Turkey. To this day, Australians, New Zealanders and Turks remember Gallipoli as embodying courage, sacrifice, compassion and ultimately respect.  

Photo: Photo: Mr Mike Burrell, High Commissioner of New Zealand and Mr Adam McCarthy, High Commissioner of Australia laying wreaths (Debbie Yazbeck)

In his address at the service, High Commissioner of Australia, Mr Adam McCarthy paid tribute to the service and sacrifice of all people who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. He acknowledged Australian heroes who embodied the Anzac spirit.

These figures include Uncle Ted Summer and all Australian Indigenous service people, Chinese-Australian brothers Hedley and Samuel Tong-Way who served alongside hundreds of other Chinese-Australians in the First World War, William “Billy” Sing whose bravery at Gallipoli earned him the British Distinguished Conduct Medal and Mr Abdul Aziz, an Afghan refugee and Australian citizen living in New Zealand, who showed outstanding courage during the Christchurch massacre in April 2019.

High Commissioner McCarthy acknowledged veteran servicewomen who were only recognised as active contributors to the war effort in 2018. In the same year, Australian Major General Cheryl Pearce was announced as the Force Commander to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cyprus, the second woman to be appointed head of a peacekeeping operation in the UN’s 73 year history.

In light of the attacks in Christchurch, Sri Lanka and other conflicts across the world, the spirit of Anzac is more important today than ever and lives on in everyday Australians and New Zealanders who stand up against hatred and intolerance.

The dawn service was followed by a traditional ‘gun-fire’ breakfast where the High Commissioner handed over the Anzac Centenary Print Portfolio, a gift from the Australian War Memorial to the Iziko South African National Gallery. The print portfolio includes artworks by ten Australian and New Zealand artists who were commissioned to creatively explore the legacy of the First World War and link the past with the present and future. 

High Commission of Australia in South Africa

Photos: Debbie Yazbeck

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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May/June 2019

 
 
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