Anzac Day in Dubai

This report was kindly supplied by an Aussie “friend of the First AIF” living in Dubai:

Waking up in Dubai you never expect to see rain, but like Sydney rain fell on Anzac Day morning from the skies of Dubai.
We arrived at the dawn service at the Westin Hotel Mina Seyahi Dubai at 5 a.m. to find at least 100 other fellow Australians and New Zealanders. A proud turn out as an Aussie would say!

After a donation to obtain a red poppy, people took their seats as a breeze came over to cool the Dubai air.

It was lovely to see so many children of a young age at the service.
The ceremony began with a call to come together with an introduction by M.C. Graham McNally. Major Jonathan Herps (Rtd) RFD, a member of the Australia New Zealand Association (ANZA) read John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.
This was followed by the reading from the inscription on the Anzac Memorial at Gallipoli written by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and read by H.E. Umit Yalcin-Consul General of the Republic of Turkey.

Those heroes that shed their blood 
and lost their lives; 
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
who sent their sons from far away countries,
wipe away your tears;
your sons are now lying in our bosom
and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have
become our sons as well.

Wreaths were then laid at the base of the flag poles – flying the flags of Australia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Turkey – by the Consul General of Australia Kym Hewett, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Umit Yalcin, and representatives of the New Zealand Consulate General, the Australia New Zealand Association (ANZA) and the Australian Business Council in Dubai (ABCD).

 The Commemoration of the Fallen was read by Gary Chapman on behalf of the New Zealand Consulate General. 

The formal part of the commemoration concluded with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille by Peter Hatherley-Greene.

For more photos see the gulfnews.com Anzac Day report by clicking here.

Most people gathered afterwards for a full-buffet breakfast. This included Gunshot Coffee (Bundy Rum enhanced coffee) provided by ANZA and home baked ANZAC biscuits.

A perfect way to remember the true meaning of ANZAC.
 
Many of the Australian men then gathered at Westin Baristi bar to share stories but not to play two-up (as gambling is not permitted in the UAE).

*****

FFFAIF thanks our ‘on the spot’ reporter for sharing Anzac Day ‘Dubai style’.

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