Remembering sacrifices of women in war
Dannevirke held its dawn and 8.30am services at the Cenotaph in calm and sunny weather on Anzac Day.
A massive turnout attended the dawn service where Lt Col. Aidan Shattock talked about the theme of Anzac this year — Not All Wounds Bleed — highlighting thepsychological illness that many soldiers suffered after the war.
At the 8.30am service the presence of the First Battalion RNZIR, large contingents of police, fire service, community service and club personnel together with the dwindling number of old soldiers but growing numbers of children and their families made the service a moving one.
After a welcome by Dannevirke and District RSA President Paddy Driver, speeches by Tararua Mayor Tracey Collis and RSA Chaplain Ron Ashford, the hymn Abide With Me by the Dannevirke Brass Band, the lament Flowers of the Forest by a lone piper and Joel Dean Charlton’s speech on the relevance of Armistice Day, Colonel (Rtd) Ray Seymour spoke about Anzac and the service of troops in foreign wars.
He chose to focus on the sacrifices of women in two world wars — something he believed had been badly neglected.
He highlighted the unbearable burden of having husbands and sons overseas and the uncertainty of day-to-day life dreading the telegram which always brought bad news. He talked about the burden of raising a family, making ends meet and the condition of many of the men returning with shellshock.
He complimented the large group of “fine young people” at the ceremony calling them “all our tomorrows,” and asking them to continue the Anzac spirit, never taking freedom for granted.
He quoted from the poem In Flanders Fields :
“Take up our quarrel with the foe, to you from failing hands we throw, the torch be yours to hold it high, if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
Laying of the wreaths followed, the Ode, Last Post and Reveille concluding the hourlong ceremony.
Vyrn Aldworth and Te Ataihaea Paewai present a wreath on behalf of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamaki Nui a Rua.
A large crowd gathered at 8.30am in the sunshine to enjoy the Anzac ceremony.
Tararua District Council’s CEO Blair King and Mayor Tracey Collis present a wreath.
Colonel (Rtd) Ray Seymour MBE was guest speaker at the 8.30am Dannevirke service.