Young re­flect on An­zac Day


The Kaka Point com­mu­nity gath­ered at noon for one of Otago-South­land’s last An­zac Day ser­vices for the year.

It was in a sense a re­union for the Gold fam­ily of Kaka Point, with a visit home by guest speaker, lead­ing air­craft­man Hay­den Gold, who serves with the Royal New Zealand Air Force based at Ohakea.

His parents Stephen and Adele Gold farm at Kaka Point and his sis­ter Gemma also lives nearby.

The 23-year-old, who joined the air force five years ago, said he was de­lighted to have a good ex­cuse to re­turn for a visit.

He spoke from the per­spec­tive of be­ing in the armed forces and a sim­i­lar age to the young men whose lives were lost in the ‘‘ter­ri­ble blood-let­ting’’ at An­zac Cove on April 25, 1918. It took an­other war 20 years later - World War II - be­fore an in­ter­na­tional sys­tem was de­vel­oped to out­law the use of armed ag­gres­sion.

To this day, New Zealand was help­ing to de­fend a sys­tem ‘‘that is all that re­ally stands be­tween us and the law­less­ness that led to so many deaths’’, he said.

Kaka Point school girl Macken­zie Baines, 15, also spoke about the peo­ple who ‘‘died for a cause that was not their own’’. She quoted from a war poem by Kenny Martin that he wrote af­ter mak­ing a visit to the Com­mon­wealth War Graves in the Arn­hem in Hol­land, in 2002.

Ear­lier in the day at the Bal­clutha dawn ser­vice, South Otago High School head girl Briar Mills, 17, spoke about her re­newed re­spect for the mean­ing of An­zac Day fol­low­ing a re­cent visit to the memorials on Europe’s Western Front.

‘‘For me An­zac Day was an ex­cit­ing time; mak­ing An­zac bis­cuits, a day off school, then after­wards saveloys at the scout hall ... but now it is sober­ing day, to pay the great­est re­spect and grat­i­tude.’’

Mills and deputy head boy Mo­hammed Shaiyaz touched on be­ing part of the ‘‘Face­book generation’’ that took a lot for granted. ‘‘My generation needs to think how we can make the world a better place,’’ she said.

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