Camp Gallipoli: Friday 24th – 25th April

On April 24th and 25th Bethany College was represented by 17 students from Year 9 who were joined by Mrs Allan, Mrs Bullock, Ms Matthews at Camp Gallipoli. Camp Gallipoli was a once in a lifetime opportunity to commemorate the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli by camping out just as the ANZAC’s would have. Camp Gallipoli was a perfect example of friends and family getting together to remember those who sacrificed themselves in order to serve their country. Going to Camp Gallipoli really opened our eyes, in a way that we now have a deeper knowledge and understanding of what the ANZAC’s went through as we were lucky enough to experience just a little bit of how they had to live. The day was filled with films, guest speakers and concerts which all had their own significance to helping commemorate the story of the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli as well as a special dawn service in the morning to remember those who died. Even though Camp Gallipoli was only a one night event and it came with a few little luxuries the ANZAC’s didn’t have I can say on behalf of everyone that went; Camp Gallipoli was an important event in our lives that will always help us keep the ANZAC legacy in our hearts and remember the brave ANZAC’s that died and fought for Australia.

Chloe- Yr 9

 

On Friday the 24th of April we joined approximately six thousand other campers for Camp Gallipoli at the Sydney Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. We arrived at around 3:30pm to see hundreds of people lining up in the streets, waiting to catch a glimpse of amazing set up and interpretations of what Anzac Cove, the landing place and camp of the diggers in Gallipoli looked like from 100 years ago. We walked through the gates to a more camp-like scene with a small fire as well as sand bags covered in nets built up like walls to guide the way to our campsite a few hundred metres away. As we waited to be shown to our school’s camp spot we looked around to see the very committed campers with official Camp Gallipoli swags being set up across the park while we were standing there with pillows, a few sheets of tarp, sleeping bags and our own supply of lollies. In about ten minutes we had our sleeping bags set up in the back half of the park surrounded mostly by other small school groups and then we explored the rest of the camp. We walked around in small groups for the remainder of the afternoon until dinner and within this time Mahalia Barnes performed inside the Hordern Pavilion which was shown on big screens across the camp. Her performance was very energetic and exciting. Throughout her performance she talked about what Anzac day meant to her and how excited she was to be at Camp Gallipoli. At 6pm dinner was served and we could choose from one of four ‘delicious’ and authentic military style dishes. The choices were braised chicken with mustard cream, spaghetti Bolognese, beef rissoles with onion gravy and mashed potatoes or vegetarian eggplant moussaka with roast potatoes. Afterwards, Imogen Clarke performed followed by Jon Stevens, incredible performances which thoroughly entertained us all, especially Mrs Allen, Mrs Bullock and Ms Matthews who we found at the front of the stage dancing and singing along to Jon Stevens. We then made our way over to our spot in the park where we watched Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner”, a film focusing around the after effects of the battle of Gallipoli. Showing this film at Camp Gallipoli helped campers better understand the importance of why the event was organised around honouring the lives of the diggers. After The Water Diviner ‘lights out’ was called where most people went to sleep, this was a difficult task with 6000 others in the cold of the night.

Dana- Yr 9

 

The morning for many of the Bethany campers started at 1am for a midnight snack of hot chips for the whole camp. Nobody got much sleep that night. A few hours later, we woke to a bugle, the same sound that would have awoken the ANZACs at Gallipoli. It was freezing and nobody wished to come out from their slightly, ever-so-much  warmer sleeping arrangements. After quickly getting ready for the day, Bethany campers made their way to the Hordon Pavillion for what was about to become a life-long memory. As we filed in and found our spots the dawn service began. Lead by an army veteran, the service was an unforgettable experience as we learned what truly was, and still is, in the hearts of ANZACs everywhere. We learnt that not only did Australians and New Zealanders serve under the ANZAC name, but young men from countless other countries. Sentries raised our flag and there were many solemn prayers, for the Australian defence force, for the ANZACs past and present, as well as their families and the Lord’s Prayer. It was one of the most beautiful events; to see so many people from different walks of life around Sydney mutually gather from a common sense of respect, awe, pride and love of country. The powerful rendition of the National Anthem rang in our ears evoking a sense of thankfulness for our wonderful country and mateship for all those around us. And then it was over, but the reverence and respect was held in the atmosphere. We were invited to come and look at the flag and leave memorabilia at it’s feet. I left a small poppy there. Then, it was time for breakfast, home, a shower and a change of clothes! But lest we forget those precious ANZACs before us.

Ashlee- Yr 9