Australians, New Zealanders and many Thais gathered at the Phuket Yacht Club in Chalong, Phuket, at dawn on Wednesday for a ceremony marking the 102nd Anzac Day.
Crewmembers from HMAS Anzac and the consuls general of New Zealand and Australia found themselves surrounded not just by war veterans and their descendants but also by local community representatives and schoolchildren.
Anzac Day is held on April 25 each year to remember the men and women of the South Pacific nations who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations and the contributions of all who have served.
The day began as a remembrance of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) soldiers who fought at Gallipoli in present-day Turkey against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands and Tonga, and previously was a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
As the sun rose over Cape Panwa across Chalong Bay, Australian Consul General Craig Ferguson, Consul for New Zealand Moana Dunn, Lieutenant Stephen Gaisford of the Royal Australian Navy and Phuket Yacht Club Commodore Scott Duncanson read dedications and commemorations for the ceremony.
Kevin Mansfield read “For the Fallen” (“The Anzac Ode”), written in 1914 by Laurence Binyon. It says in part, “They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old / Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn / At the going down of the sun, and in the morning / We will remember them.”
Members of the community laid wreaths and Ian Wilkinson played “The Last Post”.
Crewmembers of HMAS Anzac, currently docked in Bangkok, flew in yesterday to attend the ceremony.