This week at Macca, we celebrated ‘Night of the Vegans’ and paused to commemorate ANZAC Day.

ANZAC Day at Macquarie Island

On Friday 21 April, we welcomed back to station our Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Services and albatross research assistants after nearly two weeks of field work. To celebrate, chef Nick channelled his usual Saturday night cooking magic into something different: ‘Night of the Vegans’.

Featuring an Asian inspired menu, for many of us eating vegan was a totally new experience. However, the food proved divine; so good in fact it fooled quite a few of our die–hard carnivores who couldn’t believe there was no ‘real’ meat involved! Indeed, it was hard to believe that Nick’s Aqua Faba baked Alaska dessert, made from a vegan friendly shortbread base, had an outside made just from sugar and the juice of the chickpeas!

Tuesday 25th April marked ANZAC Day. It commenced with the traditional early morning gunfire breakfast, followed by a solemn ANZAC Day dawn service. After the service, we were treated to a fantastic ANZAC Day slideshow tribute compiled by our doctor Jan, which visually commemorated many friends, family, and former expeditioners who had served in the defence forces. After, we all enjoyed a fantastic morning playing two–up whilst sampling our first Macca home brew for the year, thanks to the excellent Brewmasters Wayne and Dave. A big day of Aussie-flavoured sport followed, including cricket in Market Square, along with indoor basketball, badminton, and indoor Jenga. A great day was had by all!

For the Macca team, commemorating ANZAC Day here was a truly memorable experience. Notwithstanding, whether on Macquarie Island or back in Australia, ANZAC Day is a truly special day for all, as it unites in remembrance of those who have served in the forces. Whilst much can be said about the courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice of those brave souls who served, I share these poignant, simple and heartfelt words of the great Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Honner (Commander of the 39th Battalion during the 1942 Kokoda Track campaign): 'They died so young. They missed so much. They gave up so much: Their hopes, their dreams, their loved ones. They laid down their lives so their friends might live. Greater love hath no man than this.'

On behalf of the 70th ANARE Macquarie Island, we thank all members past and present of the Australian Defence Forces for their service — Lest we forget.

Kyle Williams — Station Leader, Macquarie Island 70th ANARE