Katikati re­mem­bers its war dead

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Katikati re­mem­bered the fallen at a poignant Ar­mistice Day Cen­te­nary Ser­vice at 11am on Sun­day at Me­mo­rial Square.

Katikati RSA Pres­i­dent Glenn Burt fa­cil­i­tated the com­mem­o­ra­tion, hon­our­ing those who lost their lives in World War I. He wel­comed exser­vice­men, vet­er­ans, guests and the com­mu­nity.

White crosses bear­ing the names of Katikati’s fallen sol­diers stood in a Field of Re­mem­brance at Diggel­mann Park.

We will re­mem­ber them, Western Bay mayor Garry Web­ber said.

“These four words res­onate with all who know the ar­mistice story. Four words that show we are com­mit­ted to re­mem­ber­ing those who fought the war that was to end all wars and those who died fight­ing to pro­tect the way of life we con­tinue to en­joy to­day.

“It falls to us who have ben­e­fited from their sac­ri­fice to en­sure that their sto­ries are never lost. It falls to us be­cause the ma­jor­ity of those that made that great sac­ri­fice have now passed on.”

Bay of Plenty Dis­trict RSA’s Pres­i­dent Peter Spar­row spoke about an­i­mals at war and the many horses that NZ sent over­seas and were put down.

War poet Mike Subritzky had writ­ten a poem es­pe­cially for ar­mistice and read it out at the ser­vice.

RSA mem­ber Peter Mackay in­tro­duced the Walford fam­ily — 17 mem­bers had trav­elled for the un­veil­ing of a plaque in hon­our of Lieu­tenant Rus­sell Free­land Walford. Bryan Walford spoke on be­half of the fam­ily, with the plaque un­veiled by nephew Rus­sell Smith.

Gra­ham Walford, 72, from Waihi wore his un­cle Rus­sell’s medals and the New Zealand Me­mo­rial Cross, which is pre­sented by the Govern­ment to the next of kin of all mil­i­tary per­son­nel who have died in armed con­flicts from World War II to the present day.

After the ser­vice Mr Mackay in­tro­duced the Walford fam­ily to Western Bay Mu­seum man­ager Paula Gaelic. She said the fam­ily wished to gift Rus­sell’s war di­ary and some per­sonal ob­jects to the mu­seum.

“This is such an hon­our as we do not have a di­ary from one of our lo­cal Katikati men.”

The mu­seum hosted over 80 vis­i­tors on Ar­mistice Day, and as with An­zac Day af­ter­noon the mu­seum was open free to the pub­lic.

For more see page 23.

BOP Dis­trict RSA’s Pres­i­dent Peter Spar­row speak­ing at the Ar­mistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tion ser­vice.

The com­mu­nity at the Katikati Ar­mistice Day ser­vice.

PHOTO / WEEKLY NEWS

Rus­sell Free­land Walford.

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