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Anzac Remembrance under the stars

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‘Anzac Remembrance under the stars’ is a special Youth Week activity organised by the City of Canada Bay Library Service.

The event will be held at St Alban’s Church grounds, Five Dock on Friday, 17 April, 6-9.30pm. The evening will showcase a selection of videos produced by local students as part of the ‘More than just a name’ project, followed by the film War Horse.

It’s quite appropriate that the event should be at St Alban’s which has an honour roll listing the names of over 200 local men and women who served in the First World War. The honour roll has an ecumenical flavour. It included relatives of parishioners as well as their friends, so it lists people from other denominations, such as Methodists and even a member of the Plymouth Brethren.

The Reverend John Boardman of St Alban’s served as a Chaplain during the First World War. His son, Harold Boardman, served in the 18 Battalion.

Peter Dodds McCormick

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Peter Dodds McCormick (1834-1916) who wrote ‘Advance Australia Fair’ had links with Five Dock.

Born in Scotland, Peter McCormick arrived in Sydney in 1855. A staunch Presbyterian, McCormick had a strong interest in music, particularly children’s choirs. He was employed for many years by the Education Department. In September 1865 he became the second Headmaster of the Five Dock School which at that time operated under the direction of the Trustees of St Alban’s Church, Five Dock.

In 1878 McCormick wrote ‘Advance Australia Fair’ under the pen name ‘Amicus’ (friend in Latin) after attending a concert which featured national anthems where he had been dismayed that ‘there was not one note for Australia’. In 1901 at the inauguration of the Commonwealth of Australia, it was sung by a choir of 10,000. In 1974, almost 100 years after its composition, ‘Advance Australia Fair’ became Australia’s national anthem.

A plaque commemorating Peter Dodds McCormick was unveiled in the grounds of St Alban’s by City of Canada Bay Mayor, Angelo Tsirekas on Sunday, 11 August 2013.

Remembering the Anzacs

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In 1916, the Rev. John Boardman of St Alban’s at Five Dock wrote to parishioners, ‘This Easter has been different to any former ones, for we had scarcely finished the solemn services before we were commemorating Anzac Day, a day and a word that were unknown or unthought of last Easter and yet a name that will last as long as Australia continues’.

It is now approaching the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli and the City of Canada Bay will be marking the occasion through several events in 2015. Local Studies welcomes the loan of photographs of local men and women who served in the First World War to copy and add to the ‘Canada Bay Connections’ image library.

The photograph shows the opening of the Five Dock War Memorial Bandstand in Five Dock Park by Gallipoli veteran Major General Charles H. Brand CB CMG DSO on the 28 January 1923.