Katikati remembers its war dead
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.
Russell Freeland Walford.