The first time I attended the Dawn Service at Orchid Beach, I was moved to tears.
Listening to the waves and the birds during a moment of silence; I pictured the young men of Gallipoli and the ways in which their lives and the lives of the families were changed forever that morning.
We were so stirred by the service, it’s become an annual pilgrimage. Each ANZAC morning, we wake sleepy children and put them in their car seats. The clean sand squeaks beneath our tyres as we join the snake of cars driving along the beach. We arrive and take our place in the crowd, and as the casuarinas are backlit by the pre-dawn light, a lone bagpipe player marks the start of proceedings.
The RSL invites a guest speaker to address the reverent rabble that gather each year. A few years back, the speaker shared a poem that I loved. It’s taken me a while and some creative searching, but this year I managed to find the verse. Ironically, the answer was in my wallet the whole time – the poem and its author, Dame Mary Gilmore, are depicted on our ten dollar note. The poem is called No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest.
Tonight we'll bed our tired children in clothes instead of pyjamas. Tomorrow for a few brief moments, I will be the coolest Mum around when I hand them each an ANZAC biscuit for breakfast.
1 cup oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup coconut
2 tbs golden syrup
½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
1 tbs boiling water
Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted.
Mix bicarb and boiling water, add to butter mixture. Stir into dry ingredients. Place tablespoons of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 150C.
After the service, the members of the Orchid Beach Branch of the RSL will invite those gathered to join them for a rum and milk. The festivities will continue throughout the day. A rowdy game of two-up will take place under the marquee, the flag will fly and the sons of Australia will stand shoulder to shoulder in the sand.
Sharon Clews says
Thank you so much Amanda for sharing that poem and your Anzac biscuit recipe. I loved the poem so much, I 'shared' it, hope you don't mind. I think your Anzac day tradition is wonderful, so very 'aussie'. This year Kevin and I will be at Caloundra so will attend the local Dawn Service there.
It always makes my day when I arrive at work and there is your latest blog waiting there for me.
Take care x
Thanks for sharing it Sharon. Shame you're so close to home and we'll miss you. Catch up next time you're on the Coast? x
Parental Parody says
Love Anzac Day. Haven't taken my kids to a dawn service yet, and every year I feel guilty for that. I'd really love to take them to my parents' place on the coast, as that's the dawn service I went to for years. And it's followed by a killer breakfast and much, much rum and coffee!
I whined on Facebook yesterday (you know, for a change...) about desperately wanting home made Anzac biscuits, but not having the time or inclination to make them myself. I believe I was going to befriend an elderly CWA type lady in the next 24hrs so that I could savour the goodness of home made Anzac bickies on the big day. But now your recipe and post has inspired me, so I'm off to buy the bits and pieces and make yours. My entire Anzac Day celebrations ride on them (no pressure). Heh.
Annaleis from Teapots and Tractors says
I'm hopeless at Two-up but my brother is a pro. He just seems to know when to pull out I think. Sounds like a perfect setting.
Anne @ Domesblissity says
Lovely poem Amanda. My daughter's school uses that one in their annual ANZAC service. She's marching with the Scouts tomorrow in our local area so that will probably become our tradition but since the kids have been born we've been watching the march on TV. Beautiful setting to commemorate such a solemn and moving event. Best wishes, Anne xx
Exactly the recipe (courtesy of my Mum!) I used to bake my Anzac bicsuits this morning Amanda....love an Anzac biscuit! Tim and I are off to the Melbourne Dawn Service tomorrow although I must admit your location sounds idyllic.
It's my Mum's recipe too Rachael - handwritten on the back of a used envelope!
Have a laugh on me says
Totally adore two up but I never win! Might even try make bikkies with my moo for ANZAC day x
I'm working 8 hours today and don't feel at all right about it! I feel like this is a day everywhere should be closed. We attended our first dawn service last year, in Surfers Paradise, but would love to attend the Currumbin one one year. I'm going to have to stop watching/listening to ANZAC stuff because it's a bit unprofessional to be a blubbering mess at work! x Aroha
What a lovely place to have ANZAC day - and yes, we love ANZAC bikkies here all year long but especially on ANZAC day.
Amanda, Cooker and a Looker says
It's a very special place Clairey. We've just rebooked again for next year.