Anzac service held at Waireka home
Service is popular for residents
Bryan James has been taking Anzac services at Waireka Home in Pahiatua for four years for the elderly who cannot get to the Dawn Parade.
“Because of disabilities or impaired eyesight they find the service is excellent for them because they feel in their hearts they want to do something for Anzac Day,” said Bryan.
“They feel good about it afterwards, they spend the whole day talking about it. Each year I like to put in a story about our boys that we lost during the wars. That makes up for the time that would be taken at the Dawn Service and wreath laying. This year I talked about Hugh Ross from Ngaturi near Pahiatua who is the only identified soldier from Pahiatua who is buried at Caterpillar Valley War Memorial in France. He died in the Battle of the Somme in World War I. He is buried in plot 14 row A and is one of seven soldiers from Pahiatua buried at Caterpillar Valley. There were 11 soldiers lost from Pahiatua in World War I.
“Another story told was about the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior who was repatriated from Caterpillar Valley on 10 November 2004 and placed in a tomb in Wellington on the 86th Armistice Day on 11 November 2004. At Caterpillar Valley there is a plaque which says ‘Here lies an ANZAC whose name is only known to God.’”
At the service were three veterans: Private Ashley Hunt served with the 14th Regiment of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Middle East and Japan. After the war he joined the Pahiatua RSA in 1947.
Able Seaman Hugh Fergus served in the Royal New Zealand Navy on a mine sweeper in and around New Zealand and the Pacific. It rammed and sunk a German submarine. Hugh joined Pahiatua RSA in 1946.
Nancy Altenburg served with the navy as a steward in the Auckland Naval Dock Yards during the war and also did a stint for 18 months helping at Waiouru Military Camp. After the war she joined the RSA.
Members of the Women’s Section of Pahiatua RSA who attended the pre-Anzac service at Waireka Home in Pahiatua. From left, back row: Nancy Altenburg, Molly Marenzi, Eleanor Bridge, Jill Milne, Dawn Stevens, Margaret Simpson, Rose Khan, Barbara Duckett,...
Bryan James was service leader for the Pre-Anzac service.
Private Ashley Hunt, Nancy Altenburg and Able Seaman Hugh Fergus.
Waireka Home in Pahiatua hosted a Pre-Anzac service on Tuesday, April 24.