ANZAC DAY, Kanchanaburi, 2008 ANZAC Day in Thailand was officially celebrated with a dawn service at Hell-Fire Pass and then later that morning at Kanchanaburi cemetery. A party was put together by our very own Ambassador - who has led similar trips over the last four years. A number of GT Riders joined him in his new luxury van from Chiang Mai. Others joined us from Bangkok & Phuket at Kanchanaburi's venerable "Luxury Hotel" which is good value for 700THB a night, but also certainly aspirational in name. A few beers that night and early to bed and a 0330 reveille before staggering out bleary & for some still beery eyed, in the dark, and into Ian's bus - with Dave Early's Laos slide show playing great pix and music. At the Hell-Fire Pass Museum the Australian Government had put together a a well organised reception committee guiding those of us who were still unsteady of foot, as well as the Old & the Bold, down the steep concrete path evocatively illuminated by bamboo candles & lanterns. At 0530 in the still of the jungle was broken by the steady crunch of the armed Catafalque Party from the Australian Army slow marching down, to take up positions around the stone memorial in Hell Fire Pass. Hymns were sung and sermons read before the Last Post was Played by Royal Thai Army trumpeters followed by the skirl of bagpipes from pipers of the British Club in BKK. Some bikers from Pattaya had come up on their mostly unplated big-bikes. Though they did have their own special Polo-Shirts displaying their philanthropic charitable purpose. After the service we made our way through the Hell-Fire Pass Cutting with its plaques to the heroes like "Weary" Dunlop and regimental memorials. A section of the railway is still in place. What was amazing was the numbers of both bemedelled veterans [a few with Military Crosses] and young Australians. Elsewhere the the jungle appears to be reclaiming what was once its own. Back at the top those who had not been around the excellent museum did so, whilst others downed tea and coffee laced with the traditional shot of Bundaberg Rum before heading back to Kanchanaburi. Along the way Ian stopped at a section of the railway that is still in use today. Ian & Terry seeing if a Bungy jump would work?? Nearby Bomp Later that morning we attended the ceremony at the Kanchanaburi cemetery where some 600+ people came to pay their respects. Here one of the 5 POW survivors attending gave an address including the evocative poem "Mates". listen here for a splendid reading of the poem "Mates" from Australian ABC http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rural/audio_m1575440.mp3 Afterwards both Aussie & NZ beers were made available to those attending. Shaun met up with another US Vet. Later in the day the central stone cross lay alone bedecked in wreaths. For those who have yet to go the neighbouring Museum has a very good exhibition that has been revamped and considerably upgraded since I was there last - and well-worth a repeat visit. Others have more pix so I hope they will post them. A very big thank you to H.E. Ian, for getting the trip together - I would certainly recommend others join him next year for a fun & thought-provoking trip.