Catlins medic describes war
From The Catlins to the world’s trouble spots and back again: The guest speaker at Owaka’s Anzac Day service was young Catlins-raised woman Eleanor Leslie.
She gave a powerful and emotional speech about her eight years as a New Zealand Army medic.
Having had all her schooling at The Catlins Area School, she then was uncertain where she was heading until she heard a recruitment officer from the army talk at school.
Leslie then did her training in the army where she learnt that ‘you just keep going’ no matter how hard it seems at the time. Just as her training finished, the earthquakes in Christchurch happened and she spent many uncomfortable hours there, helping with the clean-up.
She also spoke of her time in the Solomon Islands and Iraq, where she frequently had to deal with serious injuries and much blood, with minimal facilities.
She is now studying at Massey University ‘‘to heal animals rather than humans’’. Eleanor’s brother Keith Leslie piped the congregation into the hall, and young piper Alanah Anderson played The Last Post.
More Anzac Day photos, page 15
Army medic Eleanor Leslie at the monument north of Tunnel Hill in the Catlins.