101 years since Beersheva – the ambassador

November 2, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Commemorating 101 years since the Anzac victory in Beersheva, Australian Ambassador to Israel Chris Cannan joined a group of Australian and Israeli mountain bikers at the annual Anzac ride.

Chris Cannan (2nd left) and Danny Hakim (centre)

The Anzac trail meticulously built by JNF Australia for mountain bike enthusiasts is the identical trail that the Anzac light horseman troops passed on the way from Gaza to conquer Beersheva which changed the course of history.

Danny Hakim, organizer of the ride told J-Wire: “ Last year we commemorated and celebrated 100 years with over 300 riders led by Cadel Evans and an official visit by Prime Minister Turnbull. This year we rode through the barren fire damaged trail, an incredible experience that felt like riding through history. “

The Anzac trail is part of a national park that runs along the border with Gaza. A lot of the land has been burnt by incendiary balloons coming from Gaza however many of the eucalyptus trees are growing back quickly.

At the memorial

Ambassador Chris Cannan commenetd: “It was a special experience to ride a part of the ANZAC trail with a group of Australians and Israelis in the week leading up to 101st anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.

Last year’s major centenary commemorations of the Battle of Beersheba have really lifted the profile of Australia’s military role in the Sinai-Palestine campaign of World War 1, and its great to see the ANZAC story become increasingly well known among Israelis today”.

Australian Israeli rider Dr Harvey Belik added: “We were fortunate to ride on a peaceful day after welcoming rains, the next day many missiles were fired along the border communities.

I enjoyed joining our ambassadors Chris and our Ozzie/Israelis for this years’ intimate ride. I feel we’ve started a tradition of remembrance and appreciation of the Anzacs and their achievements and sacrifices in this area.”

The 2019 Annual Anzacride will be on Nov 1. We hope to get more Australian riders and schools to join in.