As part of the Anzac Centenary for April 25th this year, I joined a commemorative ornament exchange. This commemorates the landing of Australian & New Zealand forces at Gallipoli, in the first world war, all those years ago. It is a major commemoration for both of our nations this year. It is celebrated every year in both countries, with a public holiday, dawn services, marches through cities & towns with members of all services, although now with only veterans from subsequent wars, along with some representatives from some families. It is followed by lunches & time together at RSL clubs, Returned Soldiers Leagues, where in Australia only, a gambling game of "Two Up" is traditionally allowed on this day.
"Two Up" is a game using two single penny coins, placed on the face of a flat piece of wood, known as the "kip." Each penny is placed in opposite faces & is flipped into the air by the spinner. Bets are taken & held by the keeper , known as the boxer. When all bets are finished, the boxer calls out "Come in Spinner" & the coins are flipped. There was always a cockatoo in the wings. (see below). The betting is for both coins to turn up with the same face.
"Two Up" was traditionally a game played by poorer communities of Irish & English citizens in the 18th century. When the convicts arrived in Australia, the game was first noticed in New South Wales, in 1798.
It was an illegal betting game & the Cockatoo, also know as "the cocky" was the person who was the lookout for incoming police raids. Cockatoos were phased out in the late 1930's & legislation was passed for "Two Up" to be played openly, only on Anzac Day.
I've made a couple of pieces. The photo below is of one, now that it has been received by one of the recipients.
I cut one of the poppies from the fabric used on the backing, then embroidered it to the front, within the printing. At the top of the label at the back, I embroidered a small piece of Rosemary for remembrance.
I was encouraged from childhood, to wear a sprig of Rosemary, pinned to my clothing on Anzac Day, a tradition seen everywhere on this day. On November 11th, we also wore a sprig of Rosemary under a red Poppy for Armistice Day. Poppies being the reminder of the sacrifices of the Great War, the Poppy Fields of Flanders.