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Abbey packed for annual Anzac Day service

Wednesday, 25th April 2007

Abbey packed for annual Anzac Day service

The Abbey was full for the annual Anzac Day service on the 92nd anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

In his Bidding the Dean the Very Reverend John Hall said:

There is now no-one left who fought in that landing and the memory of what became known as the Great War is with us as a warning and as an encouragement. We are warned that any war involves not just grand strategies but the suffering and death of ordinary men and women; we are encouraged by the reconciliation of old enemies and by the inspiration we still receive from the spirit of national pride and commitment to their country shown by the soldiers we remember.

The sermon was delivered by the Reverend Monsignor Peter O’Keefe Director General, Chaplaincy Services, Airforce and Vicar-General Military Ordinaire of Australia.

Lessons were read by the High Commissioner for Australia HE The Hon Richard Alston and by the High Commissioner for New Zealand HE The Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt ONZ.

Atilay Ersan, Minister Counsellor from the Turkish Embassy read the epitaph inscribed on the memorial at Anzac Cove in the Dardanelles.

The Abbey Choir sang an anthem from Te Hokinga Mai by the New Zealander Vincent O’Sullivan to a setting by the Australian composer Alicia Grant.

Children from New Zealand and Australia read prayers. The Canberra Grammar School sang Abide with me and the Ngati Cultural Group sang the Maori hymn Whakaaria mai.

At a reception in Jerusalem Chamber afterwards the Australian High Commission provided the red wine while the white wine came from the New Zealanders.

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There really isn’t a more spectacular building to work on. It’s been one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences of my life.

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