The Wallaby Club’s treasured ANZAC Stick

Posted by Anne Macindoe on November 7th, 2012

wallaby club anzac stick

The Wallaby Club’s ANZAC Stick is virtually the Club’s only possession.  Revered in club history, it is a cherished totem and the Presidential mace.  After more than 100 years, there is now no room left for the Presidential gold band.  The solution President John Jenkin came up with is an elegant one; let’s go to Gallipoli and get a new stick.  In 2013, Dr John Basarin will lead a group of Wallabies on a tour of Turkey and Gallipoli to obtain a new “Wallaby ANZAC Stick”.

The Wallaby Club is a Melbourne-based walking club established in 1894.  The club has a strong emphasis on good fellowship, talking and an appreciation of both the natural and built environments. Its members are affectionately  referred to as ‘Wallabies’. Many eminent people have been members of the Club. For example, Sir John Monash joined the Wallaby Club in 1913 and maintained his membership until his death in 1931. He was elected President in 1920.

There is a tradition steeped in history, going back to the Gallipoli campaign, practiced by the Club. Each year, after the Annual General Meeting, the out-going President raises the Wallaby ANZAC Stick from the stand before him, holds it aloft and solemnly reads:

“It is my turn to hand on the ANZAC Stick which grew on Gallipoli. In my doing so I give a brief outline of its history:

“In 1915 General Legge, who was a Wallaby, was sent from Australia to take the place of General Bridges, who had died from wounds on Gallipoli. On arriving at Gallipoli he found a twisted shrub growing on General Bridges’ dug-out. This shrub he removed with its roots and gave it to Dr Springthorpe, another Wallaby, who brought it to Melbourne and delivered it to Dr Robertson, our Secretary. At this stage, Dr Robertson described it as a mass of interlacing roots resembled a badly coiled piece of rope. This shrub was later identified by CSIRO as being Rhamnus oleoides, the Buckthorn.

From this uncompromising material another Wallaby, Professor Ewart of the [University of Melbourne] Botany School, with great skill and patience, fashioned the handsome stick which we now so greatly treasure . . . In 1946 Professor Woodruff presented a pair of rests for the Stick made from Coastal Tea Tree.

Professor Osborne, President in 1915-1916, was the first President to receive it [the Stick] and pass it on to his successor . . . Each year a gold band is added bearing the name of the retiring President.”

This story is just one of many threads from the Gallipoli campaign that still intrigue and excite the people of Australia.  That is why the 2015 Centenary of Anzac is such a significant event.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 comments on “The Wallaby Club’s treasured ANZAC Stick

  1. Pingback: Egypt Vacations

  2. Pingback: recipes for turkey

  3. Pingback: apparel

  4. Pingback: Cruise Savings Secrets

    • Gallipoli 2015 cruise & tours on said:

      Fantastic to see you discussing this Gallipoli cruise post with others

  5. Pingback: friedreich wshp

  6. Pingback: Sports injuries

  7. Pingback: erp para empresas

    • Gallipoli 2015 cruise & tours on said:

      Excellent to see you’ve been chatting about this Gallipoli cruise post online

  8. Pingback: Amedar Consulting

  9. Pingback: business

    • Gallipoli 2015 cruise & tours on said:

      Great that you’ve been chatting about this Gallipoli cruise post on your website