Pupils learn mean­ing of An­zac Day

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Tor­ren­tial rain only added to the poignancy of the spe­cial An­zac ser­vice at Mata­mata Intermediate on Thurs­day.

The ser­vice is an an­nual event at the school, teach­ing the stu­dents the im­por­tance of cel­e­brat­ing An­zac Day.

Matua Jack­son Au­gust, one of the few soldiers to serve with all three New Zealand in­fantry reg­i­ments, was in­vited to speak to the chil­dren about the role the 28th (Maori) Bat­tal­ion played in World War II.

His grand­fa­ther, also named Jack­son Au­gust, was a sergeant in the bat­tal­ion and was awarded a mil­i­tary medal for the suc­cess­ful raid on the El Mrier de­pres­sion in the war. He was killed sev­eral weeks later.

Teacher and for­mer sol­dier Gary Crocker said they were try­ing to en­cour­age the chil­dren to find out about their own fam­ily ties to the war.

‘‘ The whole point of it is to en­cour­age them to head along to the Dawn Pa­rade on An­zac Day,’’ he said.

Pipe Sergeant Ray Crafts and Viet­nam vet­eran Erik Kris­ten­son led the school out­side, where two stu­dents laid a wreath un­der the flag.

A minute’s si­lence was ob­served be­fore the Last Post sounded, fol­lowed by the na­tional an­them.

The kapa haka boys then per­formed a haka to Au­gust, who knelt in the pour­ing rain.

haka.

ser­vice.

Re­spect: Matua Jack­son Au­gust kneels in the rain as stu­dents per­form the

ni­cola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

Salute: Staff Sergeant Erik Kris­ten­son stands to at­ten­tion as a minute’s si­lence is ob­served.

Chal­lenge: Mata­mata Intermediate stu­dents per­form a haka af­ter the An­zac

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