Friday, April 25, 2014

Anzac Parade, Melbourne

After the Dawn Service, there was a short break before the ANZAC parade got underway at 9am. I queued for the Gunner's breakfast- very welcome after getting up so early- and wandered around on parkland near the Shrine where there were various monuments. People were setting themselves up with seats near the tram tracks along St Kilda Rd, and that is where I decided to wait as well. Mobile ambos were on bicycles- police were patrolling on bicycles and horseback. The organisation was obviously thorough, but not obtrusive. The Aussies have pulled off this massive parade before.

The navy, army and airforce all had their turns to march. Some of the older veterans were transported by cars or jeeps, while a few walked. The crowd clapped especially hard for these old men (and some women- mainly nurses.) There were groups of peacekeepers, and groups from various conflicts. At one point there was a break in the parade for a 'medical incident' where a veteran collapsed. Bands were interspersed throughout the parade, and eventually I worked out I was seeing the same bands over again. What a massive day for them- being transported back to the start to march and play again. There were military and civilian bands, and also some very good school bands.

Mainly I will just present some photos to give the flavour of the whole event, without much extra commentary...

 Returned peacekeepers
 New Zealand had a small presence, but were there. They had the honour of being one of the early groups to march.
It was the Navy Band that played so beautifully in the Dawn Service. (I think!)
 This school drumming band were particularly strong and impressive.

 Currently serving soldiers were out in force.

 I walked back up to the Shrine area where marchers were finishing. Blue blue skies and sunshine after the cool start to the morning.

Quite a few descendants marched with photos of their loved ones. This photo was especially poignant.
 Young members of the scouting movement carried signs with dignity.

 I'd noticed this magnificent fountain as we had bussed past, glowing even in the pre-dawn darkness. I was glad to walk back past it in the sunshine.

While the airforce marched, there were several groups of planes that flew over.

After three hours I started heading back towards Flinders St. I gather there was still another hour of parade to go. I missed the wreath laying ceremony at the end of the parade, but will head back to look at the Shrine more closely in the next few days.


  1. Hey I get to travel again via your photos and descriptions! Thanks..

    1. I hope it won't be too long before I can be an armchair traveler for your next exploits Michele!

  2. Going hiking in Bretagne in June with Lyon friends from Le Chemin!