An­zacs’ val­ues still rel­e­vant to­day

Each year, stu­dent lead­ers from Mata­mata Col­lege speak at the An­zac Civic Ser­vice at Mata­mata Me­mo­rial Cen­tre. Head boy Joe Tompsett spoke on Fri­day of the courage and ca­ma­raderie of the An­zacs

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

It is an hon­our to be stand­ing here on a day that has so much mean­ing to our com­mu­nity and coun­try alike. An­zac Day is an oc­ca­sion on which I, my­self take a lot of pride in what New Zealand and Aus­tralian forces achieved on the sands of An­zac Cove in Gal­lipoli 99 years ago and the great in­flu­ence that their coura­geous fight­ing spirit and sac­ri­fices have had on New Zealand’s na­tion­hood.

Al­though I am a first gen­er­a­tion kiwi, mean­ing that I don’t have a per­sonal fam­ily con­nec­tion to An­zac Day, grow­ing up in New Zealand, hear­ing the sto­ries of ca­ma­raderie and courage, has had a great ef­fect on what the day means to me.

Be­ing able to see the great in­flu­ence the An­zacs have had on New Zealand and the great sac­ri­fices that were made in or­der to ben­e­fit New Zealand’s fu­ture has made it very easy for me to think of my­self as a New Zealan­der, tak­ing pride in what the An­zacs achieved. The shap­ing of New Zealand cul­ture and so­ci­ety that has taken place as a re­sult of the sense of iden­tity that An­zac Day cre­ated has al­lowed my fam­ily to truly make New Zealand our home find­ing com­fort in the val­ues that the An­zacs in­spired, and al­low­ing me to grow into the per­son I am to­day.

I am able to un­der­stand now, more than ever, the great im­por­tance this day has to our coun­try through the things it sym­bol­ises: na­tional pride and iden­tity, which were in­spired by our young men earn­ing re­spect by punch­ing well above their weight for their coun­try’s fu­ture and its free­dom – for our fu­ture and our free­dom.

One of the most hum­bling and most har­row­ing facts of An­zac Day, that speaks to me, and which I be­lieve al­lows An­zac Day to speak to ev­ery­one, is that the young men fight­ing for our coun­try were not much older than my­self.

Many were farm boys look­ing for an es­cape from the life they had al­ways known, in search of an ad­ven­ture of sorts.

This state of mind is par­tic­u­larly re­lat­able in a small farm­ing com­mu­nity such as Mata­mata. It is this fact that makes An­zac ever-awe-in­spir­ing and ever-rel­e­vant, as it will al­ways speak to ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity, al­low­ing the An­zac legacy to con­tinue, which is im­per­a­tive as our coun­try moves for­ward.

It is a case of not for­get­ting where our roots lie as we re­flect on the val­ues that the An­zacs in­stilled in us that have shaped the New Zealand char­ac­ter.

Though the ini­tial con­flict in Gal­lipoli, the land­ing it­self, spelled many losses for al­lied forces and re­sulted in a re­treat, the vic­tory came in what was achieved for our coun­try and this is where I feel we can find our in­spi­ra­tion, where we find our pride and where we find the spirit of An­zac day lay­ing as we see the val­ues of courage and mate­ship con­tinue to live on in our coun­try for­ever shap­ing our sense of na­tional iden­tity and pride. As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, Mov­ing in marches upon the heav­enly plain, As the stars that are starry in the time of our dark­ness, To the end, to the end, they re­main.

Pay­ing re­spects: Mata­mata Col­lege head girl Kelly Petersen and head boy Joe Tompsett lay a wreath upon the ceno­taph.

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