Our annual ANZAC Day Service was well attended and enjoyed by all.
If you couldn't make the service then why not read the address from Adelle Broadmore.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa
Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa
Ki te Atua, tēnā koe
Ki a Papatuanuku, tēnā koe
Ki te kura, tēnā koe
Ki te whare karakia, tēnā koe
Ki te hunga mate
Ki te hunga ora
Greetings to you all. I acknowledge God, and the land we stand on, the school, the church, the dead and to the living.
Ko Bolton te waka
Ko Kaukau te maunga
Ko Kaiwharawhara te awa
Ko Pakeha te iwi
Ko Jensen te hapū
Ko Adelle Broadmore ahau, ko te tumuaki o te kura o Te Wai Hirere
Tēnā koutou katoa
I am blessed to be the Principal of Roseneath school, and I am humbled to greet you all today in this special place, as we honour the memory of men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. In particular we mark the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings of 1915, but we also commemmorate those who served in other battles, and in other wars. We meet today not to celebrate or to glorify war, but rather to remember those from our own families, our own communities, who have served our country during conflict and crisis.
Here where we stand is indeed a very special place, the first permanent memorial in Wellington to those who died in World War 1. As you know, the names listed on this memorial are those of our former Roseneath School students, and their names, and others who served from around this area, will shortly be read out by some of our current Roseneath students.
It is interesting to read accounts of the unveiling of this memorial on 10th November, 1917, and I feel for the Governor-General and the Prime Minister as they endeavoured to encourage those gathered, despite recent terrible losses sustained in Passchendaele and Ypres. The Prime Minister The Right Honourable William Massey concluded his speech by reminding the crowd to stand fast for liberty, for freedom and for righteousness. Earlier in the ceremony the Governor General exhorted the crowd to take courage, that their men commemmorated by this memorial would wish them to do the same.
And as I read through the records of these men, I was reminded again that they were indeed our boys, our men. They were someone’s best friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son. They lived in our community, in our streets- Palliser Road, Maida Vale Road, Lindum Terrace, the Crescent, Oriental Terrace. They were keen boaties, able sports people, university students, young men at the very beginning of their adult lives.
I hope you have a chance after our service to read some of the stories of the people who we honour today. Our students have learnt about these men over the years, and the story of Lance and Hugh Decimus Bridge seems to be one that has struck a particular chord with them. The Bridge boys grew up on Oriental Bay, and were two of the four brothers who served in World War 1. I can only imagine how their mother Leonore Adele Bridge felt, farewelling one boy after another to go and serve, worrying about them, praying for them, and grieving for those that did not come back. I think it is important to remember that each of the names inscribed and read today represents a mother and a family, perhaps a girlfriend or wife, left behind to worry, to pray and to grieve.
But not all of the women in our community stayed here during the war. Like Jane Tolerton describes in her book Make her Prasies Heard Afar: New Zealand Women Overseas in World War One, many women travelled and worked in appalling conditions as nurses- about 550 of them- as volunteers, and as doctors. Dr Agnes Bennett arrived in Alexandria from Wellington, to see wounded Anzacs carried ashore, no doubt wondering if her own two brothers were still ok, and from there she accompanied wounded soldiers to hospitals in Cairo. Following this she headed a hospital unit in Serbia. Another Wellingtonian Dr Mary Blair also ran hospital units in Serbia. Other members of our community served as nurse aides, as sculleryites in the military hospitals, and worked in the army auxillary corps. The women of our community made huge sacrifices, and we honour and remember them.
Later in our service today, Sophia and Kate will read In Flanders Field by John McCrae.
The poem made a big impact on Moina Mitchell who in 1918 made a personal pledge to ‘keep the faith’ and was instrumental in developing the use of the poppy to raise funds for ex servicemen returning from the First World War.
In her response to John McCrae’s poem she wrote:
And now the Torch and poppy red
We wear in honour of our dead
Fear not that ye have died for naught
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders fields.
I trust that this stands true- that we wear the poppy in honour of those men and women who served our community and who sacrificed their lives and their futures for ours, and
Kia mau koe ki te kupu a tōu mātua; that we remember the lessons taught to us by our fathers.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa