AUSSIE expats and tourists will celebrate Anzac Day in ‘fair dinkum’ style at the OTOP Market in Patong on Saturday, with a televised Dawn Service, a free barbecue and a traditional game of two-up.
Anzac Day, April 25, is the day Australians remember their war dead.
Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and is named after the combined military force which attacked the Turkish beach of Gallipoli in 1916 Neil Cheyne, who runs Lilly’s Bar, and John Kerr, who operates the Anzac Bar in the OTOP Market complex, join forces each year to host a traditional Anzac Day.
Neil, who is himself a Vietnam War veteran, said the day would begin at 9.30 am with live broadcasts of the Dawn Service in Gallipoli and the Memorial Service in Villers-Bretonneux in France.
There will then be a free barbecue, complete with a special rum-based Anzac drink, and after lunch, out will come the pennies and the two-up game will begin.
Two-up is a game invented by the Aussie diggers as they waited in the trenches during World War I, and involves spinning two pennies into the air and betting on whether they come down heads or tails.
The game is an Anzac Day tradition in Australia and is played in most Returned Servicemen’s Leagues clubs throughout the country.
Two-up is considered the fairest gambling game in the world, and shouts of ‘Come in spinner’ and ‘Head ‘em up’ give it a great ‘good fun’ atmosphere.
Neil said local authorities had given special permission for the Anzac Day two-up game on condition that Thai coins, which feature an image of HM The King, were not used.
“One of our regular customers has loaned us a couple of genuine Aussie pennies, so everything will be fair dinkum,” he said.
Neil said Anzac day was an important day for all Australians.
“It’s when we stop to remember the men and women who died fighting for our country,” he said.
Neil said more than a hundred people turned up for last year’s celebrations at the OTOP complex.
“Everyone is welcome, and we are expecting even more people to turn out this year,” he said.
“The Anzac tradition is very serious, but Anzac Day is always good fun.”