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.