Anzac Day

April 25, 2012

Image from Rob's Higher Ed Bl BLog. The tall poppy.

Today 13 year old and I had the privilege of attending and participating in the Department of Education and Communities Anzac rememberance service.

As part of the NSW Public Schools Junior Singers, 13 year old was part of a choir that performed a number of songs for this event. One of the pieces they sang is a song written by their conductor called Always Remember. I have included the lyrics below so you can get a feel for what I experienced.


Music and Lyrics by Ian Jefferson.

I’ll always remember the lights on the liner, 

They signalled the start of a thousand goodbyes, 

And I’ll not forget the cheers from the crowd or the tears 

in my grandmother’s eyes. 


There was Charley and George, Thomas and Joseph, 

Patrick McGee and James, 

And many more as we marched into the flames. 


I’ll always remember the thrill and excitement, 

Adventures galore from the very first day, 

And I’ll not forget defending the line or the friendships 

we made on the way. 


There was Charley and George, Thomas and Joseph, 

Patrick McGee and James, 

And many more as we marched into the flames. 


We shared jokes and tobacco, 

We gambled and swore, we sang. 

The sun rises each day but for some it has already set, 

We’ll never forget. 

I’ll always remember the roar of the trenches, 

We fought to survive and we’d never say, “die”, 

And I’ll not forget the roll-call at dawn, when a soldiers 

name brought no reply. 


There was Charley and George, Thomas and Joseph, 

Patrick McGee and James, 

And many more whose names I never learned, 

Our comrades forever, 

the fallen who never returned.

Have you heard this song before?

It struck a huge chord with me. My eyes flowed with tears as they often do at ANZAC services.

My girls go to school with Charlies and James’, Thomas’ and Joseph’s, Patrick’s and Georges. Perhaps your children do too.

When I think of how much time I spend investing in my kids. Keeping them safe. Teaching them so as they move into adulthood, they will be responsible adults, contributors and successful. Perhaps even tall poppies in their areas of giftedness. I know for sure many of these fallen soldiers parents did the same. But, I suspect these future soldier boys were taught something more.

A love for their country.

A duty to their neighbour.

I was humbled to think… I care about the good of others enough to teach it, and insist on it or do only care about my own children’s good without reference to others?

The choir followed this ballad with the old hymn we don’t hear often enough.

Abide With Me.

Words by William Henry Monk and Henry F. Lyte 


Abide with me, fast falls the eventide, 

The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide, 

When other helpers fail and comforts flee, 

Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 


Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes, 

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies, 

Heav’ns morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee, 

In life, in death O Lord, abide with me. 

What fabulous words!

Whatever their gifts, I want them to remember that without God they are the helpless.

I hope above all, that my girls abide in Him, and not in their safety or skills or successfulness….. and that the good and service of others is a very worthy goal.

 ‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.’

1 Peter 4:10-11.


4 Responses to “Anzac Day”

  1. Shell said

    Ok, so I just tried to vote on this post and meant to vote 5 stars but the silly iPad … Ok my fingers on the iPad gave it only a 4 … Sorry!

  2. george kincses said

    I have another poem dedicated to the Indigenous Anzac’s

    They fought for our country.
    They fought for their land.
    These brave forgotten few,
    Fought time…. and time…. again.
    Through all of the various wars,
    We have continued to forget.
    All of their names and families,
    With no apparent regret.
    They have maintained their dignity.
    They have maintained their respect.
    All they ever wanted us to do,
    Is to never really forget.
    To think about their passion.
    To think about their love.
    Acknowledge their dedication.
    And acknowledge their commitment
    To our great country we call Australia .
    Championed for its mateship and values,
    Lest we forget … our Indigenous Anzacs…GJK

  3. Martin Jenas said

    You may be pleased to learn that this song was sung by about 200 odds primary school students at Arts Alive Primary Choral Concert at the Sydney Opera House August 31, 2015. It sounded just wonderful – plaintiff and haunting. It made me search for details about the song. Keep well

  4. haylee goetze said

    my school choir performed this for a thing called pulse at the sydney opera house

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