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.
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.”
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.
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.
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”.