Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Where to go, what to do
Weary Dunlop - one of our ANZAC legends (c) JP Mundy 2012
It's ANZAC Day - a time when the nation comes together to honour and celebrate and remember those men and women who died years before their time, in order that we might live free and independent. 2014 is an important year for the original ANZAC's as it is 100 years since the commencement of WWI. No matter who you are, or what your background, there are lots of ways and events in which to honour this day, and feel bound together by the ANZAC spirit:
The ANZAC Day Dawn services are some of the most highly attended public events in Australia, and most people will have memories of warm rum toddies after an early rise in the cold of pre-dawn and moving ceremonies listening to the the chilling, sad sound of the lone bugleer's 'Reveille'. The service evokes the military tradition of 'standing to'. In Melbourne, the place to head for is the Shirne of Remembrance, but you need to be there by 4:30am to make the 6am service.
2. Gunfire Breakfast After your early rise, the Defence Force School of Catering will be serving a Gunfire breakfast from 6:30am near the Shrine on the intersection of Government House Drive and Linlithgow Avenue. THe meal represents the last meal served to the troops before they headed 'over the top' of the trenches in WWI. A gold coin donation will pay for your meal and help support veterans and their families.
3. Official Wreath Laying Service If you want to witness this, you'll need to assemble at the Shrine by 745am, and the wreath laying, which is very moving, will commence at 815am.
Visitors Entrance to the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne (c) JP Mundy 2012
4. ANZAC Day March Starting from Flinders Street Station, the Parade kicks off at 9am and makes its way along St Kilda Road to the forecourt of the Shrine of Remembrance. This is quite a spectacle, and involves thousands and thousands of armed service personnel, veterans and their descendants, proudly wearing their grandparent's and great grandparent's medals. Unit wreaths will be laid progressively as representatives arrive at the Shrine.
5. Commemorative Service at the Shrine At the conclusion of the March, there will be a formal service at the Shrine at 1pm- perfect for those who missed the Dawn Service - with a speech by the Governor General and other key dignitaries. Don't miss going down to the Visitors Centre underneath the Shrine to see the Memorial Wall and read about our heroes. 6. Other Dawn Services If you would rather not head into town, all of the suburbian and regional RSLs will be holding their own Dawn Services and Wreath Laying, and these can be very intimate and moving experiences to be a part of. It's even better if you have a personal association or friend who is involved in the local club, but everyone is very welcome. RSL Victoria have a guide to what services and commemorations are on across the state.