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On November 11, we went to Emu Park for the Remembrance Day ceremony. You may remember that Emu Park has the most incredible memorial walkway along the ocean so that’s why we went there instead of Yeppoon for the Remembrance Day ceremony. That is also why we chose Emu Park to attend our very first Anzac Day Dawn Service.

We hadn’t previously heard of Anzac Day. It commemorates the Australian and NZ Army Corps landing at Gallipoli (pronounced gaLIPaly) on April 25, 1915. This was one of the many horrific battles in WWI. They do a Dawn Service (in addition to services later in the morning) to reflect that the Anzacs landed on Gallipoli at dawn. So yes, that means I voluntarily set the alarm clock for 4:30am so we could get to Emu Park in time for the 5:30am service! Fortunately, Anzac Day is a public holiday so we were able to have a nap when we got home after the service 🙂

Just like at Remembrance Day, we noticed the sprigs of rosemary people were wearing on their lapel. Here is a link explaining the significance, and it relates specifically to Anzac Day. Next year, I’m going to wear rosemary along with the special poppy a veteran gave me many years ago.

There were hundreds of people at the Remembrance Day ceremony, so we expected the same for this one. Well, were we ever wrong! The first inkling that this was something much bigger was the long line of traffic we found ourselves in heading to Emu Park:

Uh oh, this was worrisome. Emu Park has a population of about 2,500 so parking was potentially going to be challenging. We lucked out and found a spot that wasn’t too far away to walk (pretty much every spare patch of grass or gravel was being used as a parking space that morning) and we made it to the service literally a couple minutes before it started. We even got a pretty good spot to stand where we could see the stage fairly well but were also right next to the ocean to see the sunrise. It was a beautiful service! I get choked up every Remembrance Day and so now we can add Anzac Day to the list of things that tug strongly at my heart strings. They are estimating attendance at 3,000-3,500 and, other than the sound of the ocean, you could hear a pin drop in the crowd. Amazing reverence for the solemnity of the service. Here is a drone shot showing how many people were there:

And here’s a video I took during the service:


A full moon setting in the west while the sun was rising in the east. The main part of the service went from 5:30-6:00am and then they asked everyone to turn to face the ocean to watch the sun rise and think about the brave young lads landing on the beach at Gallipoli, knowing they were most certainly heading to their deaths. They had a boat and rowers on the shore as well, and a gun salute followed:

In 1914 when WWI broke out, Australia had a population of about 4,000,000. Over 400,000 enlisted to help in the war, which was almost 40% of the population of men aged 18-44. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t know those stats for Canada, so I don’t know how they compare. Of the 400,000 who enlisted, almost 59,000 died and almost 167,000 were injured. And of course, when the war ended in 1918 and people were coming home to celebrate, the Spanish Flu added to the death toll.

And here we were, enjoying a beautiful sunrise over the ocean:

I will forever be grateful to all those who put the freedom of people they’d never met ahead of their own lives. Lest we forget.

Wednesday was the full moon so another Full Moon Yoga with yogi Kylie at the foreshore in Yeppoon. Some photos of the moon for you:

Also on Wednesday night was the championship pickleball match for the Wed night competitive league. My team didn’t make it to the playoffs and Hugh’s team got knocked out early in the playoffs the night that he and teammate Vicki were away – so they of course accept no responsibility for their team not getting to the finals :). But guess who did make it to the championship match – Rob and Barb! We were so excited for them – they had never heard of pickleball before and we took them out for their first games last June or July and wow, have they ever become incredible players!! Rob’s team prevailed and won the championship. Huge kudos to them both, our favourite ‘Poon-adians 🙂

There was another sailing event on this week, this time a 5-heat / 3-day event, and Hugh got to help out on Kevin’s catamaran again. The first heat was on Thu afternoon and there was pretty much NO wind. In fact, here is a video Hugh took of the crew working hard during the “race”:


That’s Sarah on vocals and guitar and Kevin on the maraca, with crew mates Rod and Matt in the background. The race was actually called early, so I’m assuming this video was taken after they’d clocked their time for the day :). The next 2 heats were on Saturday and it was the complete opposite – a marine wind warning was in effect! At one point, Kevin’s boat was going 15 knots! Here is a video Hugh took from Kevin’s boat, Vivacious, of their friend’s boat, Final Fling, bouncing along:


After Saturday’s heats, Vivacious was 1 win behind Final Fling, but Final Fling pulled out all the stops in the second heat today and won. The weather today was still windy, about 2m swells, so the tippy boats were still, well, tippy:

Hugh and Kevin invited Young Rob to join the crew of Vivacious yesterday and he loved it so came back again today to help! Barb, you may have to disconnect Rob’s access to boats-for-sale websites…

I went to pick up Hugh and Rob at the yacht club after yesterday’s races. Joanne and I joined Kevin, Hugh, Rob, and Rod for a drink and then Phil and Doya happened to show up, so needless to say, we ended up staying for awhile. And we all got to crash a wedding! Sailors were allowed to sit around tables near the back of the yacht club while the wedding was being set up on the deck out front. We were still there as the ceremony began and it turned out that Doya knew the bride, so we figured that just added to our legitimacy to stay. So Hugh and I had our first wedding crashing in Australia 🙂 We then stopped for dinner at a local tavern and sat outside on the patio – next to someone’s 8th birthday party. So we crashed a wedding and a birthday party all on one day!

To give you your bird fix, here is a Kookaburra hanging out on our bird bath (probably plotting how to catch our pond fish):


And as I went out to the patio to sit and write this blog, I adjusted one of the cushions and scared a couple geckos hanging out behind the cushion. One of them quickly moved to a spot where I couldn’t see him as well, but this fella stayed totally still and I got a great photo showing his “hands” as he held on:

Some other random tidbits about differences between Canada and Australia. You would never see this in Canada:

Yes, that’s a water pipe on the outside of the house 🙂 It’s bringing hot water down from the solar water heater on the roof into the house. This is of course only possible in a climate where, for example, the person driving the car home from the Anzac Day ceremony when it was 23C had to turn on the seat heaters for a few minutes because he was chilled:

And the door hinges here are different. I’m accustomed to this style of hinge, which requires a cut out on the door and frame to sink the hinges into:

Here all the hinges are designed to fold into themselves so you don’t have to sink them into the door and frame:

OK, that’s it for this week! We hope our curling friends aren’t fighting off too bad a hangover this weekend as you’ve been enjoying the Last Chance 🙂 We miss curling and partying with you all!

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