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Sunday, April 12, 2015

100 years since the ANZAC's landed at Gallipoli.

ANZAC Day, 25 April, this year marks the centenary of the landing in WWI at the Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian and New Zealand forces where they and other allied troop's mission was to capture this territory from Turkey. This attack saw over 44000 allied troops lose their lives of which 8709 were Australians and 2701 were New Zealanders. The Turks lost 86000 men in this campaign.

This year in Gallipoli there will be a special tie up between surf lifesaving and the Australian military. An association which has always been strong with mateship being a shared cornerstone value between both organisations.

Back in WWI any surf lifesaving club members joining the armed forces were immediately given at least the rank of corporal or sergeant, and in some cases lieutenant, due to the training they had undergone. The discipline and values they had ingrained in them through being surf lifesavers put them in excellent stead as soldiers.

Today the famous red and yellow flags that designate the safest place to swim on the beach hark back to the flags used by Australian troops onshore to communicate with ships.

For most of my life I and one of my friends and work colleagues, +Melissa Andrews have proudly been members of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Lifesaving Club . Our children are "Nippers"(junior lifesavers) there.

TH&C SLSC was founded in 1911. Three years before the start of the war. It the first club in Queensland and was one of only a handful of surf clubs clubs even formed nationally at that time. A significant contingent of our members joined the war effort in WWI and other wars for that matter.

To commemorate and recreate the ANZAC landing, TH&C's long time surf boat captain, Brian Sullivan, "BA" to everyone who knows him at the club, is sweeping a boat in the G100 surf boat race in Turkey with his son and other members of TH&C who are currently serving members of the Australian Military. The surf boats bare a resemblance to the dorys used by the ANZACs so they are fitting for this occasion in more ways than one.



BA and the boys will be racing other surf boats from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey along the Dardanelles to ANZAC Cove over 4 days starting on the 21st of April. It's not all racing though with the crews stopping to pay their respects at historically significant places along the peninsula. 

Depth Logistics and Depth Travel are very proud to be one of the sponsors of the TH&C crew for this special occasion.

Depth Travel has put together a Gallipoli cruise and tour to coincide with the commemorations. The profits earned have gone toward the sponsorship of the crew. It's still not too late to book but time is running out fast so you need to be quick. More details....

For me ANZAC Day has always been the most significant day in our national calendar having had my grandfathers serve in WWII and an uncle serve in Vietnam. 

This year will be even a bit more special knowing BA and the boys will be right there at ANZAC Cove representing TH&C SLSC. 

Hope you and the boys are first on the beach BA!!!

Lest We Forget

+Brad Skelton 

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