Time to reflect and reach out

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Solemn moment . . . Armed services members and cadets salute as the Last Post is played during the Posy laying ceremony at Andersons Bay Cemetery on Wednesday. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

A glorious morning greeted thousands of Dunedin residents who turned out for Anzac Day services across the city.

Following a strong turnout of several thousand for the Dawn Service at the cenotaph in Queens Gardens, local people attended services from Andersons Bay to Mosgiel and beyond in remembrance of the original Anzacs of World War 1 and those who have served in many conflicts since.

Speaking at Montecillo Veterans Home & Hospital, New Zealand Joint Forces deputy commander Commodore David Proctor told a crowd of about 400 Anzac Day was a time to reflect on how the sacrifices made had influenced the world today.

Reflections on war . . . Commodore David Proctor shares his thoughts on the sacrifice of New Zealand’s soldiers and the importance of peace at the Montecillo Veteran Homes & Hospital service. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The battles of 1918 had caused more New Zealand casualties than any other year of World War 1: 19,000 battle casualties and more than 5000 dead, Comm Proctor said.

“Unfortunately, the Armistice of November 11, 1918 did not bring an end to war, and there has been World War 2 and decades of international tension since then,” he said.

“The lesson is that peace can only be maintained if we have faith in the [international] system that was put in place after World War 2, and defend it to the last.”

Important role . . . Preparing to lay posies and wreaths during yesterday’s Anzac Day Posy Laying ceremony at Andersons Bay Cemetery are (from left) ranger Destiny Stewart (14), of Dunedin City Rangers, brownie Graci Fisher (7), of Pineapple Track Brownies, guide Kaitlin Rodger (11), of Grants Braes Guides, and ranger Hannah Corson (14), of Dunedin City Rangers. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The warm morning was welcomed by about 400 people who attended the posy-laying ceremony at Andersons Bay Cemetery.

With Cadet Unit TS Waireka providing the guard, and the official party led by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, the moving ceremony was accompanied by music from the City of Dunedin Pipe Band and Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass.

In Mosgiel, hundreds turned out for the service at Mosgiel War Memorial, where the crowd spilled out on to Gordon Rd.

Brothers in arms… At the Mosgiel War Memorial following the service are (from left) Cameron (5) Hayden (7) and James Beatson (10). James is wearing their granfathers medals from the Korean War. PHOTO: ELLA STOKES

The Green Island Anzac Day commemorations drew a record crowd. John Moyle, who has been overseeing the service for about 12 years, said it was the biggest crowd he had seen.

“It really helps that it’s a beautiful day with the sun shining, and it’s good to see more young people coming along.”

The event included a service at St Peter Chanel Church, wreath and poppy laying at Green Island Memorial Park and posy laying at Green Park Services Section.

Follow the leader . . . The City of Dunedin Cadet Unit followed by the Dunedin Scout Group during the march at the Green Island Anzac Day service. PHOTO: ELLA STOKES

City of Dunedin Cadet Unit commander Lieutenant Paul Booth spoke at the wreath laying, ending the ceremony with the words “Anzac Day is a day to . . . cheer the survivors, care for the wounded and reach out to a friend”.