Anzac Day: Losing Larrikinism to Bureaucracy

By @AringoYenko on

Larrikinism, is a unique Australian word which according to Australian Heritage Web site "describes a loveable rogue - not quite a criminal, but someone who can cross the line of propriety yet get away with it, with a smile."

Anzac Day was used to be commemorated with a strong sense of Larrikinism especially by the young pilgrims.

However, with the growing number of "unruly" young pilgrims, the government enforced strict rules and regulations in observance of the Anzac Day.

In a report from AAP, officials reprimanded a group of young Australian and New Zealand pilgrims who anchored their small dive ship less than 100 metres from the commemorative site in Gallipoli.

The young pilgrims dove and swum, cheering amidst cold chill, in the area where the Anzacs landed 99 years ago.

Coast guard were immediately instructed to move the small vessel.

" Anzac Cove and North Beach are heritage sites protected under Turkish law. So what the people are doing there at the moment is illegal - the boat shouldn't be that close and people shouldn't be swimming off the boat," Tim Evans, Australian services director, told the press.

Mr Evans explained that on Thursday and Friday, ships are prohibited from the military heritage sites that were intended for reflection and commemoration.

"I don't think that what they (the swimmers) are doing is appropriate and we've taken steps to respond," Mr Evans said.

Writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Wright captured how Gallipoli was being prepared for the Anzac Day.

He described that rules - ''Mind your personal belongings," "Have warm and water proof clothing. Remember your bus number. Follow instructions by officials," "Do not litter. Do not lie on headstones. Do not swim. Do not light any fires. No smoking inside commemorative areas. No drugs or alcohol are allowed" - show that the government no longer put up with larrikinism "that once personified the young Anzacs who fought and lost here."

He fondly recalled how ten years ago, how young pilgrims braved the chill as they celebrate the day with wine and song and would later rest among the gravestone of soldiers who died fighting around the same age as the pilgrims.

"Many swam at the cove in a sort of communion with those who had done it in 1915."

Now authorities imposed stricter rules as the number of pilgrims grows.

"...authorities will search those attending for any sniff of alcohol, right where the original Anzacs buried bottles of rum in the hope of a quiet moment to drink it."

Join the Discussion