The importance of the Ode


The Ode of Remembrance is a staple of Anzac Day and is recited weekly by the Returned and Services Association (RSA).

For Te Awamutu RSA, it is personalised as much as possible.

“When The Ode is said, you can hear a pin drop in this place, because that is what people respect,” said Te Awamutu RSA life member, Terry Findlay.

Anzac Green. Photo / Mary Anne Gill

They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them

The Ode comes from the 1914 poem, For the Fallen, by British Poet Laurence Binyon. The fourth stanza of Binyon’s poem emphasises that remembrance can be timeless, and is The Ode that most people are familiar with.

Te Awamutu’s RSA recites The Ode every Friday. Findlay says the association keeps true to the spirit of The Ode by personalising it, reading out two names from the honours board each time it is recited.

“They really do respect what is about, and that honours board is the most important thing in this club,” he said.

Findlay said not only are the names of servicepersons read from the honours board, but also their position, age, location, and nature of passing.

“The RSA prides itself on being a guardian of remembrance and commemoration,” said Te Awamutu RSA president Peter Watson.

James Baldwin and Lou Brown place crosses on the Anzac green in Te Awamutu yesterday. Each cross bears a name from the
RSA honours board

Te Awamutu RSA will be involved in the following services:

  • A pre-Anzac Day service will be held on April 24 11am at the Pukeatua War Memorial Church.
  • On April 25, Anzac Day, there will be a 5.45am march from the RSA to a 6am dawn service at the Sunken Cross on Mutu Street.
  • Pirongia will hold an Anzac Day dawn service at 6am, at the Pirongia Memorial Hall.
  • Kihikihi will have a wreath laying service at the Kihikihi Cenotaph, 8:45am.
  • A service will be held at the Ohaupō town hall at 10am.
  • Te Awamutu’s civic service will be held on the Anzac green at 11am, with a march leaving from the RSA at 10:45am.
  • Finally, Kāwhia will host a service at the Kāwhia War Memorial at 1pm.

Watson, who has been involved in dawn services for roughly 40 years, says they’re his favourite.

“The acoustics, there is something special about dawn service, it has a lot of meaning to me.

More Recent News

Johnathan sets the strategy

You could call Johnathan Tan a general dogsbody and he would not care; he is always up for a challenge. Creating strategy, managing risk and helping businesses grow is what is more important for him….

Nominations close, who’s standing? – Final

Nominations closed at midday in Waipā and Waikato districts and for Waikato Regional Council. The nominations are final. No elections will be needed in the Kakepuku seat for the Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Community Board – Kane…

Why spatial plans are vital

Kirsty Downey understands why people’s eyes glaze over when she talks about Ahu Ake, Waipā’s spatial plan. “We don’t want this to be a document that sits on the shelf,” says Downey, the council’s Strategy…

Massage marathon a success

Fundraising efforts by the Elite School of Beauty and Spa and Melville community have raised close to $5000 for Tyson Hollran and his family. Tyson, 12, is battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. A fundraiser which included…