Always a special day
Today is a special day here in Australia.
We commemorate ANZAC Day on 25 April each year with ceremonies, marches, the laying of wreaths, special prayers, poppies, tributes and most importantly of all, gratitude, as we thank those who have fought to save our country. You can read more about the meaning of ANZAC Day from the Australian War memorial site.
The spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.
I wrote this post in 2014 – ANZAC Day – and it tells you a little about our small town’s service on this special day. The 25 April is always declared as a Public Holiday.
I also included the Ode in this post – Half light – as it’s a beautiful poem first and foremost, but it’s is also used at such services.
We also make ANZAC biscuits. These biscuits came into our history during WW1. As they are made with oats, flour, coconut, golden syrup, and no eggs are used, it gives them the ability to stay fresh for long periods of time. They were made by wives, mothers and girl friends and were packaged up to be sent off to ANZAC soldiers fighting overseas.
They are still a popular biscuit here and everyone knows the story behind them. Some like them crunchy while others like them soft – they are easy to make and are delicious. Here’s the CWA recipe which I use.
**CWA of NSW Anzac Biscuit Recipe**
150g (1 cup) plain flour
220g (1 cup) sugar
100g (1 cup) rolled oats
90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon golden syrup or treacle
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and lightly grease two baking trays. Combine the flour in a bowl with the sugar, rolled oats and coconut. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the golden syrup over medium heat. Combine the boiling water with the bicarbonate of soda and stir to dissolve. Add to the butter mixture and mix well,then stir into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the trays, allowing room for spreading.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Kokoda Track connection
This photo is one of my favourites from my time walking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in 2008. It is a photo of my husband and I at the Isurava Memorial in front of the plinth that read mateship.
There are 4 such granite plinths, carved in stone to express what the Kokoda campaign stood for – courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.
We were fortunate to spend ANZAC Day 2008 in Isurava and participated in the very moving service. It is one ANZAC Day I will never forget! (Update April 2019, my husband is again in Kokoda with a group of Tumbarumba High School students and volunteer leaders – this is his 8th time on the track. They had a special service planned for today).
Thanks to all those brave souls who have served, are currently serving and to those who will serve in the future.
Lest we forget.
PS: On a lighter note I often joke that I could have picked any of these four words to describe marriage but I chose mateship 🙂
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