Soon after dawn on Anzac Day, around 60 early-risers gathered at the Diggers Memorial in Foley Park for the annual Anzac Day Service.

St James Parish Priest, Father Dominic Murphy, opened the Service with the acknowledgment of Country and a Welcome – competing with the roar of Council garbage trucks finishing off their Tuesday morning round.

Max Solling’s speech – which followed a solemn rendition of ‘Our God our Help in Ages Past’ – addressed the circumstances surrounding the building of a number of war memorials to be found within a three to four km radius of Glebe. Max also drew our attention to an historical perspective to Anzac – taken by some – that eschews the ‘bombast’ of popular history to uncover a darker side; one that includes mutiny, desertion and self-harm – not to mention the emotional toll on families who faced ‘withdrawn and silent husbands and fathers and the indigence of drink, unemployment and family conflict’. The text of Max’s speech will be published in next month’s Bulletin.

Fortunately, the gathered crowd had no difficulty hearing the Lament, piped by Rob McLean, as it has been each year but one since 1992.

A number of wreaths were laid, including the Glebe Society’s wreath, pictured. The service was followed by a morning tea at St John’s.

The Glebe Society’s wreath on Anzac Day 2017 (image: V.Simpson-Young)