Anzac Day Sketching – or Don’t Rain on my Parade


Do you remember that fab song by Barbra Streisand?  From the 1964 musical ‘Funny Girl’.  Surely.

It seemed so right for today and I love all the words. Don’t rain on my parade.

Well it did. But it did not dampen anyone’s spirits.

Quarantine Station from the ferry.


Anyway, Karen and I had planned to go sketching with Sydney Sketch Club, at the Memorial Pool in front of the Cenotaph in Hyde Park.

Let’s also say that a few decided to stay tucked up at home and have no fun at all!

I rarely get to sketch with Sketch club these days unless it’s between terms – and it was.

At 4 a.m. it was a gorgeous morning here in Sydney, and I believe the same all round Australia and New Zealand,   Gallipoli, France,Belgium, Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan. Have I missed any?

The sun would rise over each Dawn Service.

This is not to do with glorifying war mind you.

It is a whole lot to do with remembering people who did take part in keeping our countries free and democratic societies.

These good folk helped make that happen.

It’s a very important part of our country’s history and should always be something we’re grateful for.

The children who took part in the March yesterday loved being part of something real.

Sydney sketch club sketchers

One soggy little boy on the train,  still wearing his very wet band outfit and hat, said it was just great.

‘Specially when all the school bands played together’ he said.

He was just beaming.

Our plan was to catch the 8.20am ferry from Manly. We had our raincoats and umbrellas at the ready.

Rain had definitely begun. Both of us were feeling very excited.

The ferry was rock n rolling as I tried to do my Quarantine sketch before were plunged on past.

I admit I added more blue sky than was actually there. You know what I’m like with blue!

If I’d been able to do another it would have been smokey lavender with layers of dark green.

And a dot of red.

We arrived at Circular Quay with lots of others equally keen to see the parade. You have no need to hurry as it starts at 9am and the lasts till 1.30pm.

It’s really raining now.

We hop on the train to St James Station and walk through Hyde Park to the far end where the War Memorial is. It looks gorgeous along here.

Wet refections in the paving, the trees dark and shining.


The other sketchers have opted to sketch at the Hyde Park Cafe, under a few umbrellas pulled together.

We are half expecting nobody else would show! But of course we hardy sketchers take no notice of rain. You simply take shelter somewhere and carry on.

This was a great chance to catch up with who was there and what they were sketching.

Hi Cecilia, haven’t seen you in ages.  Oh Chris that cafe sketch is looking good.  Hi Merrin, Christina, Lina, Stephanie.

Oh and Jennifer. Thanks for organising today. So there are others sketching back at one of the stations?


Karen and I order coffee and a nibble. We’ve been up early.

Seems to me the most obvious sketch to do was the group right in front of me.  Sketched quickly of course, because I was rather keen to go into the Cenotaph.  Once the downpour had passed that is.

We all had to grab our stuff and huddle. Drips coming down everywhere.

I have rain patterns on my sketch.

Karen was more into photography today.

We’d already found a good spot to observe the different battalions being dismissed, and we’d loved the interplay between watchers and marchers.

The old soldiers passing in camouflaged Land Rovers stood so proudly.

Some could be heard later on their mobiles.

“Did you see me on TV?’

We had many a tear in our eye today.

We hot footed it up to the Cenotaph. A few others had the same idea.

It’s dry in here.

We had a little look inside the museum just inside the front door.  So interesting. Memorabilia, models and pics.  All of it important history.

We marvel at the tall plinth, with the bronze statue aloft.  A dying soldier, arms stretched out supported by his sword.

From upstairs you can see the strength and the beauty of it.

The aroma of the lilies and roses in the beautiful floral wreaths wafts.  They are laid beneath the eternal flame.

A ceremony is taking place around the Memorial pool in front of the Cenotaph.  Soldiers in kilts bearing the Aussie flag stand heads bowed to the beat of a drum.

Here’s my next sketch.  I squeeze past the onlookers and find a good spot.

Anzac Day ceremony viewed fron the Cenotaph

I’m keen to continue in watercolours.

At this point I have an ‘Aha’ moment.

Now –  my water pot is actually a chewing gum container which has a lid attached.

By holding my watercolours, tissue, and sketchpad in one hand, I can also hold the open lid on the water pot.

And there’s my clean water right there.

Wow I’m a genius.

See photo of this incredible feat!

It may mean when it finally snaps off, I’ll have to chew another 100 bits of chewing gum to get a new pot!

Reckon it’s worth it though.

No bending up and down to the floor when there is nowhere to put it.


Time to meet everyone for lunch.

We splash through puddles, passing wet uniformed folk large and small, big and little instruments covered in plastic.

Umbrellas dip and dive to avoid clashing.   Past tourists slightly bemused by the goings-on.

Past crowded hotels where ‘two Up’ is played on this day only.


Here we all are, golly, Hi to even more brave sketchers.  We chat and show each other our achievements.

What lovely memories to look back on.  What a great day we’ve all had.  Wouldn’t have missed this for quids.

Lest We Forget.

Pics by Erin & Karen.

©ErinHill Studio 2014.

0 Responses

  • Hi Erin,
    I have just looked/read this….I am SO sorry I did not make it.
    It all looks and feels wonderful…through the full gamet of emotions.
    And your sketch of the War Memorial Pool and the other sketchers….I want to do that soon.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Cheers Robin

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