President Kovind visits Anzac Memorial in Sydney

Updated:4 months ago IST

Sydney (Australia), Nov 21 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind along with the First Lady of India, Savita Kovind visited The Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park in the heart of Sydney. President Kovind was greeted by former senior Australian Army officer, David Hurley and his wife Linda Hurley during his visit. The grand memorial was officially opened to public last month after an unveiling ceremony led by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The building was constructed in 1934 as memorial to Australian Imperial Force in World War I. A daily remembrance ceremony is held where visitors pause for a minute of silent reflection. The visiting President and the First Lady were given an overview of Australian and Indian military connections at the Hall of Memory, by senior curator and historian Brad Manera. There are four Niches of Remembrance in the Hall of Memory. President Kovind was shown The Gallipoli Niche, which highlights the Sari Bair battle that Australian soldiers shared with the 29th Indian Brigade and the Krithia battle, Australian soldiers also shared with several Indian infantry regiments. At the Sinai Palestine Niche, Manera explained how most of the Australian light horse battle honours were shared with Indian cavalry regiments. President Kovind along with the Governor of New South Wales laid a wreath at the memorial, followed by one minute’s silence. President Kovind also looked down the Well of Contemplation which offers a glimpse of the sculpture of ‘Sacrifice’. They even took a tour of the Hall of Service which recognises more than a century of service by Australian servicemen and servicewomen. The threshold to the space reads words: “NSW Service with and for All Australians”. Here, Fiona Hall’s artwork pays tribute to the people from across NSW who offered to serve in the Great War and their ongoing service and sacrifice. It also contributes significantly to a new civic space in Sydney’s cultural landscape. The eight walls of the Hall of Service display soil samples from 1,701 New South Wales towns, cities and districts given a place of address by WWI enlistees, including one location called ‘Lucknow’. (No one knows exactly how the town got its unusual name. Some explanations suggest that it was named after Lucknow in India because the bookkeeper at one of the mines had been wounded at the Siege of Lucknow in 1857. Others suggest it was named Lucknow as a contraction of ‘luck now’ which was what had happened to so many of the gold mining residents. It is known that the name was first used in 1863.) President Kovind is the first leader to visit this new wing. He also made a diary entry praising the efforts and sacrifices of the memorial and of Australia’s service people.

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