The 2009 ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (photo via Wikimedia Commons)

19 Wing Comox, HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial co-host Vancouver Island Anzac Day April 21

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.

Usually observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally established to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The HMCS Alberni Museum and Memorial (HAMM), in association with 19 Wing Comox, is once more host to the Vancouver Island Anzac Day on Saturday, April 21 at 12:30 p.m. to commemorate Anzac Day and to provide local Island residents with ties to southern Commonwealth countries a Day of Remembrance.

The free event will be held at HMCS Quadra (at Goose Spit) and requires advanced registration from the museum’s website (alberniproject.org) or at HAMM at 625 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay.

Along with guest speakers that will include Anil Inan, the Consul General of Turkey, there will be musical guests Comox Military Wives Choir. Refreshments will be provided by Comox Valley McDonald’s and the Peppermill Program.

A special feature of this year’s ceremony, the Hedger Medal, will be making its final appearance in Canada before being hand-delivered to New Zealand to be repatriated and handed over to Hedger’s descendants during the National Anzac Day events in Wellington.

Anzac Week at HAMM will include special screenings of the film Gallipoli and other ANZAC documentaries will be held all week in the William Leslie Wing at HAMM.

For more information on participating, corporate sponsoring, or volunteering for this event contact Lewis Bartholomew at 250-897-4611 or email at mrbarth@alberniproject.org. Tickets are available through email prior to April 19.

NOTE: Photo ID at the Quadra gate may be required with registered ticket.

History lesson

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on April 25, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand, 1,358 from British India and 40 from Newfoundland.

News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and April 25 quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war, a day of remembrance which continues this tradition to the present era.

Though the Gallipoli campaign failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman

Empire out of the war, the actions of the Australian and New Zealand troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an “Anzac legend” became an important part of the national identity in both countries. Though very controversial at times, Anzac Day has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present.

Just Posted

Emailed bomb threat triggers heavy police presence at Comox Valley RV

Heavy police presence could be seen at Comox Valley RV on Ryan… Continue reading

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Help the Comox Valley RCMP ‘Cram the Cruiser’ with items for the food bank

RCMP will be onsite at the Real Canadian Superstore Saturday

Transit Rider Appreciation Day Friday in the Comox Valley

Transit riders in the Comox Valley are invited to enjoy some festive… Continue reading

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Coal power in Canada must disappear by the end of 2029, new regulations say

Canada has significantly cut its dependence on coal largely due to the closure of all coal plants in Ontario.

‘Naive approach’ to China at fault in Meng mess: Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called on the Trudeau government to “unequivocally denounce any type of repercussions to Canadians on foreign soil.”

Omar Khadr ‘a model of compliance,’ wants changes to bail conditions: lawyer

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr is back in court today to seek changes to bail conditions.

B.C. businesses evacuated due to emailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

Penticton and Comox Valley businesses evacuated Thursday morning

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Tilray names several former politicians to international advisory board

Many former politicians and political operatives have made a foray into the legal pot industry

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

Most Read