Anzac Day commemorates the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps on the beaches of the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.

Since the first service was held in 1916, Anzac Day has become a national commemoration, an opportunity to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the original Anzacs and all those who have served after them.

I encourage you to attend one of the Anzac Day services occurring throughout Boroondara.

Even if you don’t have a direct family connection to the First World War, 25 April is a day to remember extraordinary actions taken by ordinary Australians to secure the safety and freedom we have come to enjoy in this country.

This Anzac Day, Wednesday 25 April 2018, will be the last to fall within the Centenary of the First World War (1914–1918).

This year we mark the centenary of several battles in France including actions at Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel and Amiens that lead up to the Armistice.

Notably, the remarkable Australian counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux took place on the night of 24–25 April 1918. Australian units played a critical role in halting the German advance on Anzac Day—three years after landing at Gallipoli and 100 years ago this Wednesday.

While Australians were still fighting overseas, the Boroondara community was already taking steps to remember those who had been lost.

Officially dedicated on Friday 12 April 1918, the Shrine in Surrey Gardens may be the earliest First World War memorial built in Victoria, owing to the Australian War Council’s ban on public war monument construction preceding the Armistice.

Having just marked its own centenary, this memorial in Surrey Hills is a poignant setting for the 2018 Anzac Day service.

There are many ways you can pay your respects on Anzac Day.

A dawn service will be held at the Shrine at Surrey Gardens, followed by a small exhibition dedicated to WWI servicemen and women in the newly refurbished Maternal & Child Health building.

Dawn services will also be held at the Cenotaph in Box Hill Gardens and Camberwell City RSL.

For more information about Anzac Day services in Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria visit the RSL Victoria or the Anzac Centenary websites. 

The tradition of gathering at dawn on the 25 April has its roots in the ‘stand-to,’ an operational routine of waking soldiers in defensive positions in the dark, so that they would be alert by daybreak.

In the twilight, we will remember those who never did see another dawn — those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Lest We Forget.

Cr Jim Parke, Mayor

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