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Monday, April 13, 2015

Anzac Centenary Commemorative Ornament Exchange.

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.



  1. How interesting to read about the Anzac Centenary, Kay--and your commemorative ornament turned out beautifully :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! Your ornament is quite beautiful!

  3. Lovely stitching for ANZAC commemoration