As the sun rose across Antarctica, Australian expeditioners braved below freezing temperatures to hold a dawn service to commemorate Anzac Day. Casey research station held an Anzac Day Dawn Service which was led appropriately by our Station Leader, Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat (Royal Australian Navy, 1990-now).
With current and past defence personnel involved, the service was professionally conducted. It started with an introductory reading by Scott Beardsley (Sapper Scott Beardsley, 2nd Combat Engineers Regiment, Royal Australian Engineers, 2000–2004).
We listened to readings by Nick Cartwright, Troy Henderson (Leading Seaman Troy Henderson, Royal Australian Navy, 2006–2013 / Royal Australian Navy Reserves, 2013-now) and Misty McCain including poems with poignant and moving words. Zach Lockhard’s reading drew on historical accounts of World War II servicemen to give intimate personal perspectives of the hardships of war.
The commemorative address was delivered by Rebecca Jeffcoat and then the Ode delivered by Luke Hardy (Corporal Luke Hardy, 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment 2003–2007 / 11th/28th Battalion, Royal Western Australian Regiment, 2007-now). Luke also led our flag party, which included Allan Rose and Will Tankard.
The playing of the Last Post was followed by two minutes silence, then the Reveille and the National Anthem allowed the station community to reflect on the sacrifices of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force.
Personally, Anzac Day reflections include a roller coaster of emotions, from pride to horror, when thinking of the sacrifices that have been made. With this in mind I always feel we must honour the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Lest we forget. The ongoing care and support of our returned service men and women is vitally important. Their scars are not necessarily seen or talked about.
It is because of the commitment of our servicemen and women that Australians have the many opportunities we do, including the ability to live and work in a place like Antarctica.
The service at Casey station was followed by a gunfire breakfast, games of two-up, watching the footy and a couple of drinks.