Churchill Education Co-founder and Director, Tricia Velhuizen reflects on what ANZAC Day is and why remembrance and respect is every day.
Remembrance is found in more than grand gestures.
My friend, Cliff, knows what remembrance means and where it can be found.
Cliff owns my favourite local coffee shop – The Long Yard Larder.
The place I wander to greet familiar locals and do some work, away from the office.
It is a place where you come and go, no bookings ever made or required, no reserved signs to be seen, walk-ins always welcome.
Cliff has a gift for creating community and in the time that he has owned The Long Yard Larder, I have watched community grow.
Groups of faces become familiar over time as we each find our place here.
I was chatting with Cliff recently and I mentioned how it felt so good to see these groups that gather. “I’ve noticed Cliff that there are groups of men, cyclists, motorbikes, gym groups, prams & toddlers, groups of men who I see laughing and sharing a coffee and tall tales.”
Cliff nodded, “Yes, it’s great, isn’t it? That group over there”, and he gestured towards a group of grey haired men perched on stools around a tall table, “that group are all Vietnam Veterans. They come in every Thursday for a coffee together. You wouldn’t believe the depth and breadth of their service and the lives they have lead.”
Cliff shook his head and smiled, “Extraordinary.”
“So, they come every Thursday, and every Thursday I make sure there is a small ‘reserved’ sign on the table they most like to sit at. It’s something small but it is my way of saying ‘thank you’ and letting them know there is a place for them here.”
That, my friends, is respect.
That, my friends, is remembrance.
It is a constant, not a singular event.
And that is the service that so many have given through their Defence Service: a constant, not a singular event.
On this ANZAC Day, may we all remember them – and each day beyond that too.
Lest we forget,
Tricia, Randall, and all of us at Churchill Education