Focus on Israel at Sydney ANZAC Day commemoration

April 18, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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In the centenary year of the immortal charge of the Australian Light Horse on the Turkish defences at Beersheva, the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen & Women (NAJEX) has turned the focus on to Israel for its annual Jewish communal commemoration of Anzac Day.

The commemoration will be held at 9.30 am for 9.45 am on Sunday 30 April at Sydney Jewish Museum and all are welcome.

The guest speaker will be Kelvin Crombie who wrote ‘Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem’.

NAJEX is honoured that many politicians and other community leaders attend the Sydney Jewish communal commemorations for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day including Ray Williams, Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services, representing the Premier of NSW, Walt Secord  representing the Leader of the NSW Opposition ,David Clarke MLC, Scott Farlowe MLC, Julian Leeser MP amd Dennis Cowdroy QC.

Peter Allen, the Coordinator of the Centenary of Anzac Jewish Program, will make a presentation to NAJEX Patron, NSW Governor David Hurley DSC (Ret’d) of the new book on Jews in the Australian military. This magnificent book, Jewish Anzacs, written by well known author, journalist and military historian Mark Dapin is now on sale at bookstores across Australia.

The book was one of the major projects of the Centenary of Anzac Jewish Program.

The ceremony will conclude with a briefing about the new temporary exhibition at Sydney Jewish Museum, entitled ‘In Their Steps – The Australian Light Horse and the Anzac Trail’. This exhibition sponsored by Jewish National Fund of Australia tells the story of the Australian campaign in Palestine in World War One through the eyes of two Australian soldiers who kept personal diaries. (NAJEX is expecting some of their descendants to be in attendance.)

Guests attending the commemoration will then have the opportunity to visit this Exhibition.

This year also marks the 35th anniversary of the death of Danny Goldberg and the 11th anniversary of the death of Assaf Namer. Both were dual citizens of Australia and Israel and they each made the supreme sacrifice, in order to defend Israel from Hezbollah. Their names will be honoured and family and friends are expected to attend.

This year the ceremony will include Pipers and a Cadet Guard of Honour from The Scots College, vocalists from Mount Sinai College, participation by the 3rd Rose Bay Judean Scouts and NAJEX Honorary Bugler, Louis Orner.

Guest speaker Kelvin Crombie hails from rural Western Australia and is of British free settler, ‘convict’, and also Aboriginal heritage.

He became interested as a young boy in the Australian military involvement in the Middle East because of several uncles who served there and particularly one who died at Tobruk. This interest was furthered when an Israeli family came to live on a farm in the same area. From a young age he also became aware of the Holocaust, and by the age of twelve, he already had a strong interest in Israel.

He began studying history at University but withdrew as he wanted to go to Israel and Europe, rather than just reading about these regions. In 1979 he arrived in Israel and stayed on a kibbutz.

Kelvin became a committed Christian in 1981 and then began serving as a volunteer in several hospitals in Jerusalem.  Throughout this period his interest in history continued to grow and in 1986 his local church, Christ Church in the Old City, asked him to become its guide.  This meant he had to ‘specialise’ in British and Protestant involvement in Jerusalem, the land of Israel and the region.

Studying British involvement meant studying also Anzac involvement. In 1988 he took his wife Lexie and young family on his first ‘In the footsteps of Allenby and the Anzacs’ tour to Beersheba.  In the following twenty or so years, he took dozens of such tours, which included numerous Australian government, military and trade delegations.

Kelvin has authored several books related to Australia’s military involvement in the region, including ‘Anzacs, Empires and Israel’s Restoration 1798-1948’ ; ‘Anzacs & Israel – A Significant Connection‘ ; ‘El Alamein – Halting an Impending Holocaust in the Middle East’ ; ‘Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem.’  He also has been involved in producing three documentaries on the same general subject matter ‘The Battle for Zion’ ; ‘Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem‘ and soon to be released, ’31 October – Destiny’s Date?

He was one of the main organisers for the 2007 and 2012 re-enactment of the charge of the Light Horse events in Beersheba, and is again actively involved in this years 100th anniversary event.


2 Responses to “Focus on Israel at Sydney ANZAC Day commemoration”
  1. Matt McLaughlin says:

    Ben Gurion asked the Pasha for a place in his army to fight the Brits, 2/9/1915.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    In Australia and New Zealand we spell it Beersheba and it was the Ottoman Army not the Turkish Army defending it.

    Turkey came into existence after WW1 when the empire was broken up into dysfunctional smaller state that are mostly in chaos 100 years later.

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