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Bondi Remembers

Apr 19, 2017  ·  3 min read

words by james phillips

The 25th of April is one of the most important days on the calendar for any Australian. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australia & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) in the First World War.

102 years ago, on the 25th of April, the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli, Turkey in an attempt to capture the peninsula and ultimately Constantinople from the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany. Almost 800 people died on that day and what was planned to be a surprise blow to knock Turkey out of the war quickly turned into a bloody stalemate that dragged on for eight months, killing over 8000 Australian soldiers.

The Gallipoli campaign, Australia’s ‘Baptism of Fire’, had a profound impact on Australians at home. Although it was a military failure, the heroics of the Anzac forces forged a powerful legacy in the nation’s history and the 25th of April has since become the national day for remembering all those that have served and fallen in the line of duty for their country.

Here is how you can commemorate the special day in Bondi
Every year, thousands of people descend on the North Bondi war memorial to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by Australia’s armed servicemen and women.

The North Bondi Returned and Services League will be hosting the tributes. The Dawn Service begins in the dark at 6am with a sombre 45-minute ceremony overlooking the beach as the sun rises from the water. It is a special location with the peace and tranquillity of Bondi Beach standing in stark contrast to the situation the Anzacs faced at the beach in Gallipoli in 1915.

Once the Dawn Service has concluded, the rest of the day consists of drinking beers, eating something barbequed and betting your money on the flipping of two coins.

Heeeaaaad ‘em up Spinnneerrrrr” is about as traditional a saying as Lest We Forget on this unique day.

Anzac Day is the only day of the year where the traditional Australian gambling game of Two-up is legal across the country. It is quintessentially Aussie – one day of rowdy, true blue gambling where you shout, drink and bet on the tossing of two coins in a ring all while in the spirit of The Anzac legend – resilience, mateship & larrikinism.

North Bondi RSL, Beach Road Hotel and Paddo Bowls are just a few of the notable local venues hosting Two-up games throughout the day but you’ll find quality coin-spinning until sundown in almost all of the pubs around the city.

Aussie’s love a day off no matter their belief in the story of Jesus or care for the Queen’s birthday but there is something special about Anzac day. It’s a day of thought, remembrance, appreciation, and ultimately the celebration of those who fought and continue to fight to protect what we have in this country today.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”


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