Tat­too com­mem­o­rates An­zacs

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Elisha Pearce

MOST peo­ple hon­our the Dig­gers by at­tend­ing a dawn ser­vice on An­zac Day or vis­it­ing a war me­mo­rial.

But St Clair res­i­dent Bran­don Hal­lett has per­ma­nently marked his body to re­mem­ber their sac­ri­fice.

The 44-year-old’s tat­too cov­ers his up­per arm and in­cludes a slouch hat, a sol­dier, a sil­hou­ette of an­other sol­dier look­ing at a cross, a Gal­lipoli beach scene and the words “Lest we for­get”.

He said it was a “great way to re­mem­ber what the An­zacs have done”.

“My great-grand­fa­ther was at Gal­lipoli and was killed at the land­ing,” he said. “I didn’t know him.

“Other than that, I don’t have any as­so­ci­a­tion with it through fam­ily but I’ve been par­tic­i­pat­ing in An­zac Day ceremonies since be­ing a child. When I lived in Ade­laide, we used to go into the city and par­tic­i­pate.”

Mr Hal­lett has lived in St Clair for 15 years and at­tends lo­cal RSLs ev­ery An­zac Day.

“I’ve been to St Marys and Black­town and this year I’m go­ing to Pen­rith,” he said.

Mr Hal­lett came up with part of the de­sign – the large sol­dier – and let the artist at the Hills So­cial Club and Tat- too Par­lour work out the rest.

The tat­too was done in three stages, over 12 hours in the chair. It is Mr Hal­lett’s sec­ond tat­too, fol­low­ing a cru­ci­fix on his back.

While much of the de­sign harks back to the Gal­lipoli era, he doesn’t just think of World War I vet­er­ans.

“When we think of An­zacs, we usu­ally only think of the older vet­er­ans, but not about the guys who are still ac­tive or the re­cent cam­paigns the same way,” Mr Hal­lett said.

“I think more recog­ni­tion in as­so­ci­a­tion with those more re­cent fel­las would be nice. They’re all there for the same job.”

To Mr Hal­lett, the sac­ri­fice of An­zacs put Aus­tralia on the world stage and gave birth to the na­tion, so re­mem­ber­ing them is as im­por­tant as re­mem­ber­ing the First Fleet land­ing or cel­e­brat­ing Aus­tralia Day.

When asked if the ink was one of the more painful ways to re­mem­ber the An­zacs, he said tat­toos were “al­ways painful” but did not com­pare to the pain from “what they went through”.

“I had 12 hours’ worth of pain,” he said. “Some of those guys had 12 months’, maybe even longer if they came back.”

My great­grand­fa­ther was at Gal­lipoli and was killed at the land­ing

Bran­don Hal­lett shows off his tat­too com­mem­o­rat­ing the An­zacs. Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

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