ANZAC Day commemoration and reflections from an expeditioner

ANZAC Day 2023

On Tuesday the 25th of April, we stood down from our regular station activities to commemorate all who have served this country, both in peacetime and in conflict. We remembered the fallen, and all who sacrificed in so many ways.

With the weather outside preventing a dawn service, we reverted to plan B and conducted the service in the ‘Walllow’ area of our home here at Casey Station, the Redshed. We commenced shortly before dawn with a reminder by our MC for the day, Red Hastings of just why we pause on this day, and how we forged our very close ties with New Zealand through the horror encountered on the beach at Gallipoli 108 years ago.

Following on from Red’s poignant speech, we had readings of ‘In Flanders Fields’ and ‘My Boy Jack’ by Adrian Singh and Tim Harris. A very emotive ANZAC Day address was then delivered by our Station Leader, Ben Patrick, who served on operations with the Australian Army in Afghanistan and East Timor. Ben related to us through associations and personal experience, not just the toll that war can take on those who sacrifice to serve, but also those loved ones who support our service people from home. It is important to recognise this contribution, and also to acknowledge the impact felt when people don’t come home, or are changed forever through their experiences. As Ben said in his closing statement, “there is nothing glorious about war”.

At the conclusion of the service we commenced a ‘Gunfire Breakfast’, with all the classic fare on offer including lamingtons, meat pies, and of course ANZAC biscuits. Whilst eating and chatting amongst our winter family, we displayed a slide show containing images provided by serving and ex-serving members of the Casey Station contingent of 2022/23. Once our appetites had been satisfied it was time for the game that is legal for just the one day of the year – Two-up! Special money (Casey Dollars) was minted for the occasion, but you would’ve thought there was a lot more on the line with the ‘energy’ on display around the ring! We are easily entertained…

The day, and indeed the energy, continued in the bar (Splinters) with a BBQ lunch and side servings of inter-service banter (Army v Navy). I was pretty outnumbered being the only Navy Veteran! The traditional AFL and Rugby League matches were broadcast on the big screen, and a movie marathon ran next door in the theatre (Odeon) with appropriate ANZAC Day films.

It is evident that the mateship and camaraderie that was so strong with the ANZACs is alive and well here at Casey. We have become a family, and we most certainly have each other’s backs.

In closing I would like to acknowledge the veterans that make up part of this incredible group of people here at Casey (including our departed summer crew), and thank them for their service.

Ben Patrick (Station Leader), Dr Jan Wallace, Adrian Singh, Red Hastings, Jack McLeod, Bruce Dening, Dave Minchin, Dean Ahern, Dan Atwater, Andrew Boettcher, Rachel Presser, Simo Porter, Marc Ware, Charlton Clark and all the ADF contingent that supported us over the summer period.

Lest we forget.

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill, 1867

- Bruce Dening, BOM Observer/Technician and RAN veteran

Weathering the Storm

Here sits the weathered rock,
How many eons has it survived?
How many millennia ground down by the glaciers?
Now exposed and naked, blasted by the wind and ice.
And yet it stands.
Here sits this weathered man,
Staring from his window at the rock through the haze of howling wind,
It’s outline barely visible as the gale punishes the rock for daring to encroach the sky.
Will it remember him after he is gone? A mere blip in the immense existence of the rock.

Redmond Hastings

Dieso, Casey Station 2023