Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Rather than being yet another cancelled event, ANZAC Day will be one of the most memorable in Australian history. The coronavirus has meant so many feel beleaguered, thwarted and under siege but this day of such national significance will go ahead and you will be able to participate from your home.
Stand on Your Balcony or in Your Driveway
RSL branches have endorsed the gesture, of families nationwide standing at their gates, on balconies or verandahs at 6am and holding candles for the fallen. If you don't have a candle, then take out a torch or use the torch on your phone.
If honouring the service of a relative, wear their medals - these should be worn on the right breast.
Grab a sprig of rosemary if you grow it. It is traditional on Anzac Day to wear a sprig of rosemary pinned to a coat lapel. Rosemary has particular significance for Australians on Anzac Day as it grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Listen to A Livestream Service
Since regular public marches and services are cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis, radio networks are signing on to livestream services so people can tune in to these services on their phones and tablets. The ABC will be broadcasting a 5.30am service from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There will also be a 10am service from the Anzac Memorial in Sydney that will be broadcast and streamed live.
If you can play a musical instrument, take if out of the closet and practice. This is your chance to play the 'Last Post' and 'Rouse' or 'Reveille'. The order is 'Last Post', observing a minute's silence and then playing 'Rouse'. To start practising, here is the link to the sheet music. . To find out more click here.
Dress up doors, windows and letterbox with poppies. This is a great activity for the kids while they are home. They can make red "wreaths" from painted egg cartons to hang on doors and poppies from red patty pans.
Here is a good way to make a wreath at home with kids. Or you can make a wreath out of fresh rosemary like this.
If you really have time on your hands you could even make a great dress like this one. Source RSL
The RSL is encouraging us to take part in a Community Ode, inviting people to pay their respects through recording a video of themselves reciting 'The Ode' and posting to their social media in the lead-up to ANZAC Day. The ode is :
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.
Use the hashtags #ANZACspirit and #lightupthedawn when sharing videos reciting the Ode, or any message of support. Participants are encouraged to post their support messages to this page.
The ABC has a good page with links to activities and resources. Note the link to their show Behind the News, as it is a particularly good watch for older primary school children.
Many communities follow the dawn service with a 'traditional' gunfire breakfast. 'Gunfire' is a British tradition and was the term for an early cup of tea served out to troops in the morning before going on the first parade. Of course, it doesn't have to be tea it could be 'coffee or even 'bacon and eggs' (which is served by the War Memorial for their 'gunfire breakfast' on Anzac Day).
Reach out to a mate who might be alone. Many people are alone during this time of isolation. It's an opportunity to invoke the ANZAC value of mateship and check to see how a friend is doing.
Play a Family Game
Source: RSL Facebook Mortdale
This is also the one day that the traditional Australian game of 'two-up', may be legally played at venues. It's a game in which two coins are tossed in the air and bets are laid as to whether both will fall heads or tails uppermost. You may have to improvise but it is something that you could play at home with the family. Think of it as a lesson in math and probability.
Don't Forget to Make ANZAC biscuits.
There are some traditional recipes on the Australian War Memorial biscuits chere.
Love this video of a child making these biscuits. She does a great job. Anzac Day is a symbolic day for Australians and New Zealanders. Let's show our ANZAC spirit by continuing the mark the occasion even though we are going through tough times.
Source RSL Hawthorn
Watch an ANZAC Movie
There is a good list here that includes The Water Diviner about an Australian man (played by Russell Crowe) who travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to locate his three missing sons. Anzac Girls is the story of the extraordinary young women who witness the brutality and heroism of war and rise to meet the challenge. There is also a documentary about Charles Bean, a journalist who penned the official history of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 and was influential in the beginnings of the Australian War Memorial.
So celebrate Anzac Day as it is more important to do so than ever before.
I am baking Anzac biscuits for morning tea, cooking Corned Beef (aka 'bully beef') for dinner.
I will wear my red Flanders poppy for the Australians, the green poppy for the New Zealand allies and the purple poppy for the animals who never returned. I created a brooch using all three, joined it with a slouch hat badge which I purchased at the National Anzac Centre in ALBANY.