I attended my first ever ANZAC commemoration outside of Australia this morning. The dawn service was held at the Australian Consul-General’s residence, a lovely villa with beautiful gardens, in the Former French Concession.
I learned that the New Zealand and Australian Consul-Generals take turns to host the service each year. In attendance were their counterparts from Turkey, France, Britain and India. The service allowed me to meet the most Australians I have ever met in my entire time in Shanghai. We all noted that we don’t normally see each other unless it was for popular sporting events or for afternoon beers at the various Australian pubs dotted throughout the city.
It was a lovely dawn service with short speeches, music, singing, the laying of wreaths and flag raising. The morning was chilly but standing in the gardens, surrounded by like-minded individuals and having the fragrance of rosemary wafting from my lapel made me very happy to be part of such a proud community. I end with a quote from the Turkish Consul-General; ‘For those mothers who mourn the loss of their sons, mourn no more. They are at peace in Turkey’s bosom as we have embraced them as our own sons.’