Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lest we forget - ANZAC Day

As a schoolgirl, I was privileged enough to attend the girls' school that participated (at Year 10 level) in a remembrance service at The Shrine (of  Remembrance) in Melbourne on this day.  It was a great school, giving a great education, for many other reasons too.  Of course, I probably didn't appreciate it at the time but that's what happens when you're 15, isn't it? 
In fact, I distinctly remember being told off in front of the whole massed Year 10 from not only our school, but the boys school also, because the service was being televised and the teacher could see my blue basketball shorts (I had basketball practice after school that day) under my cotton schooldress! Oops, sit more discreetly Becca, honestly! 
For those of you who aren't Australian, or who don't know what ANZAC even stands for, here's some background information...
Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name. When war broke out in 1914, Australia and New Zealand had been dominions of the British Empire for thirteen and seven years respectively. 
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, originally commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who served and died in military operations for their countries.
Thanks very much to Wikipedia.
And from the packet - Symbolising the enduring spirit of the Australian & New Zealand men and women, the ANZAC biscuit assumed an increasingly important role during World War 1.  Baked by the women at home using the only ingredients available - rolled oats, golden syrup and flour - this biscuit played a vital role in lifting morale of the soldiers and later, as a fund-raiser for the Red Cross.
A new friend, also an expat, who blogs here suggested I bake Anzac biscuits after reading and enjoying my Australia Day cupcakes on Jan 26th.  I have a few cakes due soon so in lieu of baking them myself, here are some I found in a shop.  Enjoy.