Pa­rade ‘a mov­ing tribute to fallen’


On An­zac Day my wife Julie and I at­tended the dawn pa­rade in Kaiko¯ura, and it was a truly mov­ing tribute to the fallen.

The out­look dur­ing the ser­vice is quite amaz­ing and only adds to the poignant na­ture of the day.

The sil­hou­ettes of the Amuri Mounted Ri­fles against the slowly light­en­ing sky, the calm sea, the cab­bage trees and the war mon­u­ment were some­thing spe­cial in­deed.

This year the mounted ri­fles were joined by a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Aus­tralian Mounted ri­fle brigade, which was a fit­ting tribute to their com­bined ef­forts over­seas.

A huge crowd had gath­ered, which was won­der­ful to see.

I at­tend a num­ber of An­zac ser­vice each year but I must say Kaiko¯ura’s An­zac ser­vice is truly unique, and not just be­cause of the in­cred­i­ble place in which it’s held, but also the peo­ple who hold it.

Te Ru¯nanga o Kaiko¯ura pro­vided a mas­sive con­tri­bu­tion to the ser­vice and demon­strated so clearly that those lo­cal peo­ple who served over­seas were, and still are, held in very high es­teem by their com­mu­nity.

It is a sad fact that each year our An­zac pa­rades in­clude fewer vet­er­ans and Julie and I were for­tu­nate enough to visit a World War II vet­eran at Kaiko¯ura Health Te Ha¯ o Te Ora after the ser­vice.

But what is heart­en­ing is that the next gen­er­a­tions of young are now march­ing proudly in their place.

As I said in my speech, the im­por­tance of these younger peo­ple at­tend­ing An­zac ser­vices goes be­yond hon­our­ing their fam­i­lies who fought on for­eign soil, and their an­ces­tors who fell.

In many cases, the youths in the pa­rade would have been the same age as those who went to war. As we know, many of them lied about their age and could, and should, have been at school but in­stead went on a great ad­ven­ture that turned into a night­mare.

Ev­ery name on ev­ery memo­rial around our coun­try sym­bol­ises not only a loved one who trag­i­cally never come home, but the po­ten­tial of a young per- son that was never re­alised.

That is why it was great to see that the Kaiko¯ura ser­vice, as well as the Blen­heim and Ward ser­vices which Julie and I at­tended, are still some­thing that peo­ple con­sider so im­por­tant.

Lest we for­get.


Young Kaik­oura Ngati Kuri war­riors stood guard at the ceno­taph cer­e­mony at last year’s An­zac Day cer­e­mony.

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