Toowong Honours ANZAC Day with Dawn Service and Gunfire Breakfast

Toowong residents will gather early on the morning of 25th April, 2023, to mark the 108th anniversary of the ANZAC troops landing at Gallipoli. The service, which will be hosted by the RSL Toowong Sub Branch, will take place at the Cenotaph on the hill of the Toowong Memorial Park adjacent to the West Bulldogs sports fields.

ANZAC Day is a significant date for Australians and New Zealanders alike. It commemorates the landing of troops at Gallipoli during World War I, and the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers who fought there. 

On 25 April 1915, before the break of dawn, Australian forces made their first major military action during WWI with the landing at Gallipoli. Despite the ultimate failure of the battle, the bravery and determination of the ANZACs made a significant impression on the national consciousness that continues to this day.

Australian and New Zealand soldiers in a frontline trench on the Gallipoli Peninsula, 1915
Australian and New Zealand soldiers in a frontline trench on the Gallipoli Peninsula, 1915 | Photo credit:  RSL Australia /

The ANZAC Day Dawn Service is a sombre and respectful ceremony that pays tribute to the ANZACs as well as all individuals who have served or given up their lives in wars and conflicts since World War I. The ceremony serves as a moving reminder of the immense sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and women.

The Toowong Dawn Service is expected to be well-attended, with locals gathering at the Cenotaph in the early hours of the morning. The service will be conducted with due solemnity, with wreaths laid and the Last Post played. The minute’s silence is expected to be particularly moving, as attendees reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have served our country.

After the conclusion of the service, the West Bulldogs Rugby Clubhouse will host a Gunfire breakfast exclusively for all medal wearers and uniformed ADF personnel. Meanwhile, all other attendees are invited to contribute a gold coin donation in exchange for refreshments.

The Toowong ANZAC Day Dawn Service is an important event on the local calendar. It provides an opportunity for residents to come together to pay tribute to our servicemen and women, and to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made in the name of our country.

Published 23-April-2023

Two-Up: Where It Started and Why It’s Only Legal to Play Once a Year in Toowong, Other Places

At the Regatta Hotel in Toowong and other places in Brisbane, part of the annual Anzac Day celebration has involved drinking to our war heroes, amidst friendly games of two-up. Did you know that the popular association of two-up with soldiers and Anzac happened by chance?

Here’s a closer look at this game which has been outlawed since the 1980s but is legal to play at a handful of places on Anzac Day only.

For one day in a year, Australians remember and honour those who served in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I with solemn events at memorial sites, as well as drinking sprees and games of Two-Up. Authorities usually turn a blind eye to those playing Two-Up to mark Anzac Day and there are only a handful of places where the game may be played.

The Regatta Hotel in Toowong is one of those places. Established in 1874, this entertainment and hospitality venue became a prominent fixture in the Toowong Reach of the Brisbane River and people participate in the annual beer and two-up tradition here with much enthusiasm. 

The Origin of Two-Up

Two-Up actually started with diggers in gold mines in Broken Hill, New South Wales, decades before the war. The English and the Irish brought this game, then called Pitch and Toss, over to Australian shores.

Its popular association with soldiers and Anzac happened by chance, as it was what returning servicemen loved to play at pubs or local RSL when they returned from the war and had get-togethers with their band of brothers. Soldiers in the firing line trenches or troopships during World War I played this game whilst biding their time for the next commands or orders.

Over decades, Two-Up evolved into an army game played in Australian infantry battalions wherever the soldiers were serving duties, locally and abroad.

The game does not require much — just two coins, a wood for flicking the coins, a spinner or someone to flick the wood, and a ringie or someone to call out results. Because of this, the game became very accessible to anyone who would like to bet heads or tails and win the pot money.

Two-Up may also be legally played in most RSL Clubs in the country every Anzac Day.