Thursday 2nd December 2021

Why A.N.Z.A.C. Day Is One To Commemorate Not Celebrate. #SundayStills. 50/2021.

Why A.N.Z.A.C. Day Is One To Commemorate Not Celebrate. #SundayStills. 50/2021.

But first, About Sunday Stills:

Terri here has now  moved into her new abode and her friend from Always Write  was caring for Sunday Stills while she did so. I will share this post soon too.

I also chose not to follow the prompt this week, instead wanting to share about a very special day in Australia’s and New Zealand’s year: firstly with this video.

A.N.Z.A.C. Day. 25 April

Wall of Remembrance. Australian War Memorial. Canberra.

I think about my paternal grandfather who I never met. My Dad’s Dad. He was not quite 21 years old when he convinced his mother (he was an only son) to sign the papers so he could enlist. He fought in France. One of these young men is my paternal grandfather. I do not know and even though Dad is still around, the quality of the photo makes it difficult for identification. These are Aussies through and through!

We are not sure which of these men is my paternal grandfather.

He survived and returned with a War Bride. My Grandmother who then lost her husband in an awful workplace accident some years later, leaving her with 4 children to rear alone. My Dad was #2 child.

My Dad: far right, is 97 and still living. His siblings died many years back.

Dad’s father: Andrew’s Certificate of Discharge in 1920. The war ended in late 1918 but of course, our troops had to be repatriated and as he became engaged to an English lass, she came to Australia in 1919-1920. Unsure of exact date. He was 24 on discharge.


I used to make A.N.Z.A.C. biscuits and even tune into the March on TV in Sydney.

I also popped over to one of the local Services in past years.

I like to pay my respects and show appreciation.

Instead, with COVID crowd limitations and taking care to socially distant, I will visit the local memorial later where I took these photos recently.


A Mandala I drew & coloured for A.N.Z.A.C. Day 2017.

A Mandala for A.N.Z.A.C. Day 2017.

I have a ‘thing’ about writing A.N.Z.A.C. this way….because it is shortened for: Australia New Zealand Army Corps. The word is pronounced as ANZAC. The word is also carefully guarded by Australia and its use needs to be approved for any commercial use so as not to diminish the reverence with which the name is held.

My Dad is someone who finds A.N.Z.A.C. Day difficult because he was restricted from serving as his family and friends did due to being in a ‘protected industry’. Instead, he volunteered in his local community as well as worked at the Steelworks as a trainee clerk.

My last word: It’s weird but if there had not been this War and the meeting of my paternal grandparents then…I would not have been born.


What does A.N.Z.A.C. Day mean for you?

Are there any special things you do on A.N.Z.A.C. Day?

How does your country commemorate the sacrifice of those from wars both current and past?




  1. This is a beautiful A.N.Z.A.C day memorial Denyse. I can imagine how bitter/sweet it as wR led to the creation of your family. I usually seen the day in quiet reflection as we lose a number of family members.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you Jennifer. I too think of those who served and who were so affected by war experiences when they did return alive.

      I am thankful that I am here because of the war as I am sure many others would be too…but yes, bittersweet is the word!


  2. ANZAC Day is like our Memorial Day at the end of May, Denyse. Thanks for the shout-out for SS but your post about your family’s service was poignant and brought tears to me my eyes. So interesting to read about your father and his fathers and their service. Incredible your father is still kicking at 97, how wonderful! It is so important to remember our war heroes. Like I’ve read: We are free because of the brave! Happy ANZAC Day to you and your fellow countrymen.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much for understanding my reasons. Yes, I understand your day is called Memorial Day. I also think we all share 11 November as Remembrance Day as it was on 11th day of 11th month at the 11th hour that Armistice was called to end World War 1.

      I never glorify war but always want, where I can to give our thanks for our lives today.

      Visited Dad today and he is wearing out physically but not mentally. He was taking himself, with his push walker, to the doctors after my visit to get his annual flu injection. He refused my offer to go with him and I did not fuss.

      Glad to share our stories of shared and similar paths.

      Thank you Terri.


  3. Thank you for sharing this story….I’ve never heard of it, but have heard of the biscuits. I appreciate so much learning about other parts of the world.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      I love that the biscuits have a following Kirstin!!

      They were, according to the stories from WW1, sent with gifts of socks and other clothing, that could withstand the travel by sea back in those days, a food which travelled well. and did not spoil. Still true today.

      Such an Aussie staple.


  4. Well done for going off prompt for #SundayStills, I’m always reluctant to do this but I don’t know why!! Your post is lovely and yes its a commemoration not a celebration. My most amazing ANZAC Day was when i walked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea and we were at the Isurava Memorial for the Dawn service, what an experience it was something I’ll never forget!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh Deb, what an honour to be there and do that. Wow.

      OK, I have always been a rule follower too…but maybe I am getting more brave as I age. Seriously, as with my prompts being optional, I know Terri has no issue with my ‘off prompt.’

      So, give it a go!! Where is that brave girl…actually I do know…you are BRAVELY packing up the home and house of your dear Mother-in-Law. Serious hugs sent your way.