Opinion

Anzac Day birthday means much more than usual

MY cousin had his 72nd birthday on Anzac Day. That's not a great achievement for most of us.

For him it was a significant event - the same as his 71st birthday and every one before that.

You see, he never knew his father. He died in the Second World War at the Battle of El Alamein.

His mother, my Aunty Joyce, gave birth to my cousin Scott on April 25.

My mother wrote to my dad, who was also at El Alamein, so dad was able to tell my Uncle Howard, Scott's father.

But before the telegram arrived, Uncle Howard had been killed.

My uncle was in communications and it was his responsibility to run out telephone cables to the front line.

It was during one of these expeditions that he was killed by enemy fire.

A few years back, on cousin Scott's 60th birthday, he had the good fortune to be able to travel to El Alamein where he found his father's headstone.

It was a highly emotional time - witnessed by his daughter, son-in-law and one of his very good mates.

It's a moment he says he will never forget, and I can understand that fully.

I spoke to Scott on Anzac Day, as I do every April 25, to wish him a happy birthday. He had spent the early part of the day at the Auckland Memorial Museum dawn service, accompanied by his eldest daughter and her son.

It's some years since he went to the dawn service at the museum - he normally goes to the morning service in his home town Papakura, near Auckland.

But this time, he felt it was important to go to the dawn service as it was the 100th year since the beginning of the First World War.

He was impressed when he heard both the New Zealand and Australian national anthems sung, and was also impressed when I explained that I had heard the two anthems sung at the Brisbane ceremony as well.

It's a great acknowledgement that our forefathers and fathers fought together as brothers to ensure freedom was always ours to enjoy.

I never forget my cousin's birthday - and I never will.

Topics:  allen winter, anzac day, birthday, opinion




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

'Cruel': Family of 9 in Gladstone housing commission home

CROWDED HOUSE: Pa, Ma, Kelly, Lou, Chris, Lea-Ann, Patty, Nelson, Joey and Brendan squeeze together for a family picture.

“I’ve been in my house for 19 years and I know my rights”

YOUR GUIDE: Flynn candidates hand in their resumes

WHO is most qualified for Flynn's top job?

Latest deals and offers

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward