Hundreds at dawn service
Hundreds gathered on a crisp, clear Levin morning for the town’s Anzac dawn service.
The procession marched from the RSA building on Devon St to the Cenotaph on the other side of town.
It was Levin RSA president Wayne Kaye’s first year leading the parade.
‘‘I found it really quite emotional, but there was a great following and a great turnout,’’ he said.
‘‘It was just so good to follow those who’ve been here before me.’’
Kaye said the turnout for the dawn parade had been rising for the last five years, and did so again on Tuesday.
He was happy young people were involved in the service - Waiopehu College singers performed the National Anthem, and Pipes and Drums of Horowhenua also performed.
It is the first time the Levin RSA dawn parade has been led by non-military personnel.
Kaye’s father Vince, a former Levin RSA president, served in World War II, but he did not serve himself. Deputy Mayor Wayne Bishop, who also led the parade, also did not have a military background.
Levin resident Graeme Ching had his grandchildren, Aaron and Hayley Marshall, staying with him for Easter. They were involved in sea scouts and girl guides groups respectively, and came down from Hamilton.
He said the commemorations touched several generations of his family.
‘‘Both my grandfather and my father served. Dad was a bomber pilot in the Second World War.
‘‘Only granddad marched. Dad never did ... he always commemorated at home.
It’s great to see the children commemorating it.’’
This was the third Anzac Day marking the centenary of WWI. Overall, 23 Levin residents died during the First World War.
Levin’s civic ceremony held later in the morning also attracted a strong turnout. Commemorations were also observed in Foxton, Shannon, Manakau, Waitarere Beach, Moutoa and Tokomaru.
A dawn service was also held in Foxton.
Waiopehu College head girl Leah Praat lays a wreath at the Levin Anzac Day civic ceremony. The head students from both Levin colleges were involved in the commemoration. Wayne Kaye