Nicola, Thursday 6 May 2010
Wind Speed: 15 knots
Temp with wind chill: -35°C
A number of us at Scott Base are not originally from New Zealand; we come from the UK, Australia, Holland, Canada, Ireland and South Africa. But on Sunday, in a chill wind and with snow blowing around us, we gathered together at the flag pole to commemorate ANZAC Day. In New Zealand and Australia this is a day of remembrance for members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who in 1914 fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It now also commemorates all those who died and served in military service from both countries.
Traditionally the ceremony is held at dawn but as we are in the Antarctic winter and we have had the last sunrise and there are no more dawns until August, we chose to have the service in the dim light of early afternoon and invited Kiwis from the American Base at McMurdo to join us.
After Alf, the Telecom Technician, read a short service, the last post was played from the public address system sounding out across the empty ice. It was a poignant moment followed by a minute’s silence during which I also remembered the men who, shortly after surviving the experiences of Antarctic exploration, went on to serve in the First World War. The flag which had been standing at half mast was raised by Bobbie; then we walked back to the bar for a traditional drink and Anzac biscuits.