We still remember them

Peter Cuneen an old soldier remembers, and youngsters perform a haka, Viv Posselt’s photograph at the Te Awamutu Anzac service on Monday brilliantly illustrates how the annual remembrance day retains, if not increases its significance more than 100 years after it was first commemorated. The haka was performed by Te Tira Haka o Ngā Kura Tōpū Kapa Haka Group, representing Te Awamutu Primary, Te Awamutu Intermediate and Pekapekarau Primary schools.

Regional leaders told those at Te Awamutu’s Anzac Day civic ceremony to value and protect the freedoms for which the Anzacs fought and died.

In his address to the hundreds attending the mid-morning commemoration, Waipā District Mayor Jim Mylchreest said you had only to watch televised newscasts of the Ukrainian conflict to witness the horrors of war. He praised the courage of the Ukrainian people and said their President Volodymyr Zelensky would be remembered alongside the likes of Nelson Mandela.

“It is critical we keep these commemorative services going and that people keep turning out in these numbers. I am quoting President Zelensky’s recent statement, “peace matters, freedom matters, people matter”.  We all need to take stock of how well off we are in New Zealand.”

Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger also referenced Ukraine in her address.  She said we have a responsibility to ensure that the freedoms that came at the cost of so many Anzacs’ lives are not lost today.

“What is going on in Ukraine is a major battle for freedom.  We are lucky in New Zealand… while some of our freedoms have been tested through the pandemic, that is just a short-term loss,” she said. “It is hard to understand why we have not got on top of our hunger for power, which is so detrimental to our world.”

Te Awamutu RSA president Peter Watson commented on the good turn-out and on how united the crowd was in singing the national anthem. He urged people to continue to sing it “with pride and as one nation”.

One of the four head students at Te Awamutu College, Marnie Gielen, spoke poignantly about her soldier ancestor and said that without the efforts of the Anzacs, we could not enjoy the educational and job opportunities New Zealand offers today.

More Recent News

Te Awamutu Christmas parade attracts the crowds

It was great to see the Christmas Parade back in Te Awamutu today – staged in perfect weather. The News editor Roy Pilott was on hand to catch the action.

The Pakuru rose mystery

It’s not much a rose by any other name as a rose with no name. When Lorraine Flynn moved into her Pakuru St home in Te Awamutu 36 years ago the garden boasted six rose…

Ladies in waiting ….

Te Awamutu Intermediate students were pictured just before their performance at last week’s Celebrating Waipā event at Karāpiro. Guests joined mayor Susan O’Regan, councillors and community board members at the Don Rowlands Centre for the…

Top honours for Lisa 

She had visions of joining the police – but three years ago became a member of the Te Awamutu Volunteer Fire Brigade instead. Lisa Atkinson wouldn’t have it any other way today. “I love it,”…