ANZAC DAY 2015 – Letter from the President
Dear Swans family,
It is with great pleasure that I officially announce, on behalf of the Swans Leadership Team, the program for the 2015 Anzac Friendship Match, to be played at Vung Tau on Saturday 25th April.
This is the sixth consecutive year that the Swans have hosted this fixture, which continues to grow in stature each year to now be one of the most highly prized trophies in Asian footy. This year we welcome to Vung Tau, 2014 Asian Championships winners the Singapore Wombats for their first Friendship Match, in what is shaping up to be a tough, gritty and highly entertaining affair.
Of course the Anzac Friendship Match is much more than just a football game. Over the past five years it has become an event for our Veterans, Swannies supporters, ex and current players, families and friends to come together, rekindle old friendships and pay our respects to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
In addition to hosting the Wombats, this year will be significant as it is the Anzac Centenary year and the fact that Anzac Day will fall on a Saturday, the same day as we traditionally hold the match. This is the first time that we as a club have faced the situation of playing on the same day as the dawn service, held at the Long Tan Cross, which will be a very important part of the weekend for many of our loyal supporters. It is certainly something that as a club we want to support and we did not want to make arrangements that might have the effect of dissuading people to attend the service.
After much deliberation and consultation, the Committee has therefore decided that due to the early start (4am bus to depart Vung Tau to Long Tan) we will be putting the McMillan Dinner and associated Middleton Address on hold for a year. The Dinner and Address has become an important event for the Swans and many supporters that travel a long way to attend each year, so it was not a decision we took lightly. However, the overwhelming feeling was that asking people attend a formal dinner after the early start was just a bit too much.
In consultation with Glenn Nolan from Tommy’s Bar 3 in Vung Tau, who has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Anzac Friendship Match, we have also decided in this exceptional year to move both the Legends and Anzac Friendship matches to an earlier start time (7.15am and 9.20am respectively), with dawn service busses to travel directly from the Long Tan service to the Lord Mayor’s Oval (dog track) where the traditional gunfire breakfast, usually held at Tommy’s Bar, will be held this year from 6.45am.
In addition to the greater convenience this will provide the large amount of people expected to attend this year’s Long Tan dawn service, we hope that the earlier start times of 7.15am and 9.20am will also have the additional benefit of being a more comfortable game for players and supporters holding the games away from the hottest part of the day. The provisional program for 25 April therefore is:
4.00am Busses Depart Tommy’s Bar
5.15 ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Long Tan Cross
5.45 Busses Depart Long Tan for Dog Track
6.45 Gunfire Breakfast at Dog Track
7.15 Legends and All-stars Game (4 x 15min Quarters)
9.00 Pre match formalities inc national anthems
9.25 6th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match: Vietnam Swans Vs Singapore Wombats (4 x 20min Quarters)
11.00 Presentation of the Friendship trophy at ground
11.40 Essendon vs Collingwood at Tommy’s Bar
12.00 Buffet lunch served at Tommy’s Bar
1.00 (Half Time) Anzac Friendship Game wrap up – speeches by respective coaches. Auction items.
2.30 (Full Time) Speeches, Auctions, Raffle draws and entertainment (TBC)
GWS vs Suns, Port vs Hawks, Freo vs Swans games to follow
What won’t change this year is our commitment to supporting Swim Vietnam and the Centre for Social Protection of Children (Vung Tau Orphanage). In place of our usual fundraising activities at the McMillian Dinner, we will be encouraging everyone to retreat back to Tommy’s Bar following the Friendship Match. Here a buffet lunch will be held with match reviews, speeches, auctions, raffles and maybe the odd game of 2-up held in between the big Essendon vs Collingwood and other AFL Anzac Day games that will be broadcast live. While it won’t have the formality of previous years, it is shaping up to be one massive day of footy and surely an occasion for all players and supporters to enjoy together.
We understand that these arrangements may not suit everyone but firmly believe as a committee that this will be the best outcome given the circumstances of this exceptional year and we intend to return to the usual format next year. We will be posting further details as arrangements are firmed up over the coming weeks but we thought it prudent to get the word out about the changes as soon as we could to assist with planning.
I hope to see you in Vung Tau in April, if not before at one of our games in the lead-up. If you have any questions with the program please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Go you Swannies!