ANZAC Day 2007
Wed, 25 Apr 2007 12:00 PM

Posted by Shadow

On the 25th April 1915 the legend of the ANZACs was started. Over the course of the First World War in Turkey, France and Belguim the young men of Australia and New Zealand fought and died in despicable conditions we can barely imagine. We truly are indebted to them as a nation for their unimaginable sacrifices.

Today, every April 25th we celebrate their heroism, their spirit and their memory with the annual ANZAC Day Holiday. Some attend the dawn services, some the footy, others the RSL or play two-up. At VSAG we do a bit of all of the above, plus, a few of us go diving.

An 88 year old WW2 veteran in today's Age says that the friendships you make in peacetime are nothing compared to the mateship you make in war. I haven't been to war, but I understand his sentiments. People whose very existence relies on their mates, form bonds that transcend anything in normal day to day living. The same is just as apt for divers, Artic explorers or mountain climbers. It's not just a common interest that binds us together as buddies, it is the fact that when its all said and done, all of us rely on the the guy next to us to make sure we both come back alive.

As a tribute to the way of life we enjoy, VSAG today conducted a dive expedition to the J1 submarine. Sunk in 1926 after serving in the First World War, it today lies in 38m of water about 5 kms from the Rip. It is indeed a sombre reminder of the harsh reality of sea warfare.

In all 7 divers dived both here and at the sponge gardens off Shortlands Bluff in mild conditions with only average to poor visablity. As we geared up to do the 2nd dive we paused to listen to the last post from the MCG over the radio. Truly, a moment to reflect.

The dives were excellent, considering the ordinary visability, and the general consensus of the dive afterwards at the Sorrento Pub, was, 9 out of 10. Most of the patrons in the pub were only interested in the footy scores. I'd like to think that after a days diving we were only interested in each other and the bonds of true mateship.

As a kid I trivialised ANZAC Day as an irrelevant anachronism from the past. Now days, I see it for what it is, an essential reminder of what we were, what we are and a reminder of the sacrifices of our forefathers. We must never forget.

Content received from: Victorian Sub-Aqua Group (VSAG),