Korean War remembered

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Remembering war days . . . Korean war veterans (from left) Peter Connell, Ted Chirnside, Ken Wright, Mike Oakden and Walter Gee gather at a lunch at Paasha Turkish Cafe. PHOTO: JOSHUA RIDDIFORD

A lunch was held in Dunedin on Saturday to honour Otago’s Korean War veterans.

The annual event, held at Paasha Turkish Cafe, is organised by the Dunedin Korean Society.

Guests included five Otago Korean war veterans and their friends and family, as well as members of the local Dunedin Korean community.

The veterans in attendance were Peter Connell, Ted Chirnside, Ken Wright, Mike Oakden and Walter Gee.

National Party list MP Melissa Lee, who was born in South Korea, spoke at the lunch and paid tribute to the service of the Korean War veterans in helping to preserve South Korean independence after the North invaded in 1950.

“Korea is the way it is now because of your service.”

Ms Lee, who is also parliamentary private secretary for ethnic communities, said many South Koreans looked fondly on those who had served during hostilities on the Korean peninsula, which ceased with an armistice on July 27, 1953.

“You are our dads, you are our grandfathers.

“And we love you very much.”

Veteran Ken Wright, of Dunedin, told The Star the Dunedin Korean Society was very supportive of the veterans.

He thanked them for organising “a really lovely get-together”.

He said the day brought back fond memories of his service during the Korean War with the Royal Navy on battleships HMS Belfast and HMS Ceylon

There was also a musical performance from University of Otago music student Hyunah Cho.