A good turnout is wanted at Gordonton’s Anzac Day Service – the more the merrier, says MC for the morning, Commander Brett Fotheringham.
“It’s great to have services in the main centres like Auckland and Hamilton, but it’s very special to have something right here, in our local community.”
Local schools have been invited to lay a wreath and read out the names on their honour boards, as well. Students have also been encouraged to research their family histories and bring along photos or medals for display inside the hall.
“We want to make the service as welcoming as possible. Some people may not have direct connections to the war, they may be new to the country, or feel disconnected, for whatever reason. As a result, they may not know what is expected, or if they can even come. The answer is that everyone is invited, and hey, it’s in your local community. It’s not just for officials, it’s not just for service people, it’s for you, and your family and friends.
“It connects with some people at a personal level, but it should be connecting at a communal and at a national level. It’s coming together and sharing in a communal sense of remembrance, and by doing that, the community is strengthened.”
The service commemorates the 97th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 1915.
More than 100,000 New Zealanders, men and women, were deployed for service in World War One, approximately 10% of New Zealand’s population of the time; many thousands never returned.
Now an annual event, the service has been organised by a committee formed by members from St Mary’s Church, WEC Oaks and the Gordonton Community Board.
“It would be great in future if all the communities with memorial halls held their own Anzac Day services.”