Anzac Day, 2023: the plans

Anzac Day commemorations in and around Te Awamutu will start with the annual Poppy Day collections around town today.

That will be followed on Saturday by an Anzac Day service at Albert Park, just before the premier rugby game between Te Awamutu Sports and Hamilton Marist which kicks off at 2.45pm.

At 11am on Sunday, the annual pre-Anzac Day commemorative service will be held at the Pukeatua War Memorial Church, one of just two in New Zealand built as a special memorial to service personnel lost in both world wars.  The service usually attracts members of the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club, who attend in acknowledgement of their ties to fallen servicemen.

Lou Brown

Also on Sunday, there will be a memorial service at Tokanui Hospital Cemetery near Kihikihi, starting at 2.30pm.  Extensive research has shown that among the many hundreds of graves found in the Tokanui field include those of veterans of World War 1 and the Boer War.  Anzac Day wreaths were laid there for the first time in 2015.

On Tuesday, Anzac Day itself, the annual Dawn Parade will take place from 6am at the Te Awamutu Memorial Park Sunken Cross.  At 7.30am, the flag will be raised at the Te Awamutu RSA Cemetery, and at 11am there will be the annual Anzac Day Civic Parade at Anzac Green in the heart of town.

Te Awamutu RSA core value coordinator Lou Brown said Kihikihi will mark the day with its annual Anzac Day parade at the Hall Memorial, starting at 9am.

An Anzac concert in the Cambridge Town Hall on Monday night will pay a tribute to the Māori contingent who served at Gallipoli.  The concert, ‘Ake Ake Kia Haka E! An Anzac Salute’ is a musical salute to all three sections of the New Zealand armed forces – army, navy and air force.  It has been named in recognition of the 28th Māori Battalion and their marching song entitled Ake! Ake! Kia Kaha E!.

The free-to-enter concert will feature the Cambridge Brass Band, the Hamilton Auxiliary Brass Band, and for the first time the Cambridge High School kapa haka group, Te Piringa Māori o Tauiwi.   It will start at 7pm and will offer the option of a gold coin donation for the Cambridge RSA.

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