Today is ANZAC Day, a day of national importance for both Australian and New Zealand. ANZAC is an acronym for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
Whilst the day is an emotional one, starting at dawn with the sound of the bugler playing The Last Post and going through the veterans parades, the images of people making the trek to observe ANZAC day in places like Gallipolli and France, today I thought we would take a lighter approach. I have therefore teamed up with one of my favourite Kiwis....Maree from Just Add Books.
It would be remiss of me not to offer Maree sustenance before we get started!
Fush and Chups anyone?
Excuse me, don’t you mean feeesh and cheeeps?
Ah, the accent jokes never get old!
Let’s talk sports.
I remember being on a tram in Melbourne and hearing a VERY heated discussion about the nationality of Pharlap? Yes, we fight over the nationality of a horse!
Yes, the horse who was born in Timaru. In New Zealand. Pharlap is ours by birth. ;D
The same horse who made his name in Australia, whose body is in the Melbourne Museum and whose heart in the National Museum of Australia?
One episode that we couldn’t go past, is one that still lives large in the memories of sports fans on both sides of the Tasman - the infamous underarm bowling incident which took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1981.
With one ball remaining, New Zealand needed a six to tie the game, and in a very unsportsmanlike fashion, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed the bowler, his brother Trevor, to bowl the last ball underarm so that the Kiwis couldn’t score.
The underarm incident. I grew up watching that footage on news shows and my dad shaking his head over it. It’s still trotted out even now, even though one would hope that it had worn out its welcome ...
Then there are the celebrities we love to claim as Aussies - Yes, Russell Crowe, we are talking about you (something I never thought would actually happen on my blog!) but there are plenty of others too. In an acceptance speech, he said “God bless America, God Save the Queen, God defend New Zealand and thank Christ for Australia”
I am not a fan, so to be fair I would be happy for him to go back to New Zealand.
To be honest, you can have Russell Crowe. No, really. We don’t mind at all.
Ha! Who knew we would fight over who didn’t get to keep Russell Crowe!
What about Aussie legends Crowded House?
Okay, those are FIGHTING words. What’s next, Split Enz? Pavlova?
Well actually, I was thinking more about Lamingtons, but I suspect the arguments would be similar. We might have to agree to share Crowded House seeing as the make up of the band has fluctuated over the years and has feature some Kiwis, some Aussies and apparently even a couple of Americans (who knew!)
For all that we do tease each other, we do know that when the chups (cheeps) are down, then we will be the first to jump to each others aid, as evidenced over the last few years with the Pike River mining disaster and the Christchurch earthquakes.
We fight like siblings, but like siblings we’re there for each other when it matters. Pike River and the earthquakes; whenever bad bushfires strike in Australia, volunteers from here don’t even hesitate before heading over the ditch to help out.
Our friendship was forged on the beach at Gallipolli, in the trenches of the Somme and in the years and conflicts since. We may bicker like siblings occasionally, but at the heart of it, we know that when the chips are down, Australia and New Zealand will stand strong together. We honour the men and women* who have served for both of our countries on this day that unites us.
We bicker and fight, yes, but if you try to take on one of us, you’re taking on both of us. Our history together is long and - let’s be honest more than a bit rocky - but when it really matters, we’re in it together.
Lest we forget
Lest we forget
*Thanks for Sean for reminding me of the terrible omission I had made. We also honour the women who have served our country over the years, and who continue to do so.