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.

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