The 1915 disaster at Gallipoli united the young Australian nation in grief. In a highly sectarian age, a Brisbane priest then succeeded in designing a commemoration ceremony that could unite Catholics, Protestants, Jews and non-believers in reverent rememberence.
Australia and new Zealand in the early 20th century were deeply divided along sectarian lines.
In this Radio National interview, historian John Moses tells Rachael Kohn's The Spirit of Things that Catholics were not permitted to participate in prayer with other churches, while Protestants objected to Catholic prayers for the dead.
It was an Anglican priest from Brisbane - Canon David John Garland - who became the chief architect of the 'secular liturgy' that would overcome these apparently irreconcilable differences and create a ceremony in which all faiths and none could participate with deep reverence.
The task was not easy, but the legacy lives with us still.
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Image: Brisbane's Canon David James Garland was instrumental in starting Anzac Day ceremonies in Australia / The Brisbane Times
ANZAC Day origins: Canon D J Garland and Trans-Tanman commemoration (Australian War Memorial)
Push to remember Brisbane clergyman's role in Anzac history (The Brisbane Times)
Australia's days of the dead (Eureka Street)
ANZACs honoured by students (The Catholic Leader)