CAMRADERIE: Doug Plant plays two-up at the Boyne-Tannum Bowls Club on Anzac Day last year.
CAMRADERIE: Doug Plant plays two-up at the Boyne-Tannum Bowls Club on Anzac Day last year. Matt Taylor GLA250418TWOU

'Mateship, high jinks': A flip for old times' sake

IT'S A tradition that has been ingrained in Anzac lore for over 100 years.

Every year on April 25, veterans across the Gladstone region and Australia get together to play a simple but significant coin game called two-up.

Gladstone RSL Sub-branch secretary Peter Young said a game of two-up is part of the fabric of Anzac Day at RSLs.

"In the normal circumstances, it'll be run on the lawns here at the bowling club after the luncheon sometime,” Mr Young said.

There will be other venues in Gladstone that will be hosting two-up games, with permission from the RSL.

"It'll also be run as a fundraiser at the Rocky Glen Hotel - it's going to be all around town,” he said.

Mr Young said the activity provides veterans a way to share experiences and to network with different generations of soldiers.

"Mateship, camaraderie, high jinks and all the good stuff - and a few beers.”

The popularity of two-up can be traced to Diggers on the front lines who were seeking an activity to pass the time.

"Australians were renowned for betting on flies crawling up the wall, looking for something to do with their money.”

Over time, the game became a symbol of all Australian military services.

Post-ceremony meetings on Anzac Day are also a way for veterans to talk about difficult topics with other service people.

"It's generally known that veterans will talk with other veterans about things they wouldn't normally talk about with their family or with their friends,” Mr Young said.

"Because they know veterans have been through it, they know what they're talking about and they can be more candid.”

The sub-branch provides welfare services to veterans across the region, with a drop-in centre at the bowls club.

For more information, phone 49728372.

"I expect after this Anzac Day we'll have half a dozen welfare cases come through.”



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