Young keeping Anzac Day spirit alive

20:48, Apr 25 2013
Dawn Service Queenstown
Image from the dawn service in Queenstown. The first dawn service in the resort for many years.
Dawn service Queenstown
Dawn service in Queenstown.
Riverton dawn service
People gathering at Riverton.
Invercargill Anzac
A lone soldier at the Invercargill cenotaph.
Bluff service
Rain pours at the Bluff service this morning.
Lake Hawea service
The start of the service in Lake Hawea, Wanaka.
Invg police
Conor Monaghan, of the New Zealand Navy and Colin Harrison, of the Invercargill police at the Invercargill dawn service.
The Harrex family
The Harrex family at the Gore service.
Hawea child
A lone child does a reading at the Lake Hawea service.
Poppies Hawea
Poppies at the Lake Hawea, Wanaka, Service
Riverton breakfast
Breakfast being served at the Riverton RSA.
Mike Strongman
Mike Strongman, Greg McGregor, and Roger Gopalan have a drink in memory of the men in their families who served their country, at the Bluff RSA following the dawn service this morning.
Wyndham service
The last post is played at the Anzac Day service in Wyndham.
Fred Ryan
Bluff RSA past president Fred Ryan, who served in Malaya from 1957 to 1959, has a cup of tea with friends and family as Deborah Barton, who served for 28 years in the RNZN looks on.
Clyde cadets
Cadets guard the Clyde war monument as 120 people gather in a backdrop of mist to attend the Clyde service this morning.
Bluff RSA Charlie
Charlie Sargeant, Bluff RSA vice-president Lindsay Key, and Bill Sleter, the oldest serving member of the Bluff RSA at age 94, have a chat following the dawn service this morning.
Clyde service
Central Otago District councillor Clair Higginson and representatives from the Clyde Primary School prepare to place wreaths at the Clyde ANZAC Day parade.
Drummond service
People gather for the Drummond service.
Edendale service
Thelma "Chook" Hillis, Edna Bloxham, and Triss Agnew of the Edendale RSA women's section at the Edendale service.
Edendale service
Two of the three remaining WWII veterans of the Edendale RSA are Garth Hillis and Nat Bloxham at the Edendale Anzac Day service.
Queenstown Parade
Pipers make their way through Queenstown as part of the Anzac Day service.
Lake Wanaka Centre
Standing room only as people gather for the Lake Wanaka Service.
RSA Wanaka March
Anzac service attendees march to Wanaka's cenotaph.
Queenstown wreaths
Residents and guest speakers prepare to lay wreaths in Queenstown.
Wanaka cenotaph
People gather at the Wanaka cenotaph.
Bluff parade
The parade in Bluff is under way.
Alexandra cenotaph
Ceremonial troops guard the Alexandra cenotaph.
Arrowtown service
Returned servicemen line Buckingham St, Arrowtown, along with Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, right.
Alexandra parade
The Alexandra Anzac Day service prepares to finish with a march to the Alexandra-Clyde RSA.
Arrowtown parade
The Arrowtown parade gets under way in the Southern Lakes District.
Anzac Stewart Island
Soldiers stand guard at the service on Stewart Island.
Anzac Day 2013
The Te Anau Anzac Day parade marches down the main street.
Anzac Day 2013
World War II veterans Louis Nicholson (left) and Alf Excell with the Te Anau RSA wreath.
Tuatapere Anzac 2013
Members of the extended Harvey family who attended the Tuatapere Anzac, with family matriarch Syd Harvey. Mr Harvey has been a member of the Tuatapere RSA for more than 60 years, serving 21 one of those years as president.

Thousands of Southlanders yesterday braved what was in parts the worst Anzac Day weather in years to remember and honour the fallen.

Strong crowds gathered at services throughout the region before moving on to RSA clubs to warm up with a hot drink, breakfast and in many cases, a few cheeky beers.

Veterans and the family and friends of ex-servicemen and women remembered and shared stories, helping the Anzac memory to live on.

Te Anau Anzac Day service
NOT FORGOTTEN: World War II veterans Louis Nicholson and Alf Excell with the Te Anau RSA wreath at the Te Anau Anzac Day service yesterday.

Among those attending services were large numbers of children and young people, their attendance recognised and welcomed by the region's RSAs.

Riverton RSA president Grant Ussher said the number of young people helped swell numbers at the Riverton service to about 130 people. It was the biggest the town had seen for several years, he said.

"It's driven by the young people and they respect it," he said.

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Hundreds gathered in Invercargill, where emergency service personnel and ex-servicemen were among those laying poppies at the foot of the cenotaph, followed by the public.

Continuing the growing involvement of the younger generation, Invercargill pippins, brownies and girl guides visited the Eastern Cemetery and laid poppies on the graves of ex-servicemen.

Invercargill Deputy Mayor Darren Ludlow, who spoke at the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Invercargill clubrooms, said it was encouraging to see the younger generation at the services.

"It's really encouraging to see these stories aren't lost ... through a new generation," he said.

The rain threatened in Gore, but did not fall. With hundreds in attendance, Gore RSA president David Kingsford said it was one of the biggest crowds he had seen.

There was a "field of remembrance" for the first time this year, with a cross representing each soldier from the district who had fallen.

"Next year we hope people will adopt a cross, maybe put a photo of someone they want to remember on it," he said.

Crowd numbers elsewhere were also high, with about 200 attending the service at Stewart Island, and 100 each at both Edendale and Wyndham.

Hundreds also attended in Te Anau, which included wreath laying and a parade.

Bluff bore the brunt of the wet dawn weather and RSA vice president Lindsay Key said he was pleased it did not deter those who attended. It had been one of the worst weather mornings on an Anzac Day in recent years, he said.

The Reverend Ivan Smith, JP, told about 200 people at the Ohai service the Anzac experience had helped New Zealand become a pioneering nation with a humanitarian perspective.

More than 100 people gathered at Tisbury where Awarua RSA vice president Allan Kingi-Fraser, whose father served with the 28th Maori Battalion, said he would have a beer to remember him and the others who had died.

"It's a big day for us. For all of us."

Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan, speaking at the service in Tapanui, said it was thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of forebears that New Zealanders could enjoy freedom.

"We can celebrate the individuals we are, and express an opinion, and be the human beings we want to be.

"That's only possible because of our forebears," he said.

In Drummond about 40 people gathered, with school pupils reciting poetry, and piper Ann Robbie, performing as community groups laid wreaths.

Lorneville RSA president Fiona Forrest said about 200 people attended the Anzac service at the Wallacetown Hall.

The Southland Times