The ANZAC Stick

In 1915 General Legge, a Wallaby, was sent to Gallipoli to take charge of the 1st Australian Division, to replace General Bridges who had died from wounds. He found a twisted shrub growing on General Bridges’ dugout, which he removed and gave to Dr Springthorpe, another Wallaby, who brought it back to Melbourne, described then as a mass of interlaced roots resembling a badly coiled rope.

From this unpromising material, later identified as Rhamnus oleoides (the Buckthorn), another Wallaby, Professor Ewart, of Melbourne University Botany School, fashioned the stick our Club now treasures.

Starting with the 1916 AGM, the stick has been handed from the outgoing to the incoming President and each year the new President’s name is added to the stick. 

Because places for additional Presidents’ names were limited, in 2012 President John Jenkin led a group of Wallabies on a tour of Turkey, guided by John Basarin, where, through John’s contacts, a new stick from the Gallipoli Peninsula was acquired, straightened, and is ready to continue a Club tradition.