Wreaths were lain, songs were sung and memories shared at this year’s Anzac Service at the Gordonton Hall. Ciaran Warner reports.
The service, which began at 10am and went until midday, was conducted by Commander Brett Fotheringham NZDF, and commemorated 100 years since the landing of the ANZACs at Gallipoli.
The community reflection was conducted by Deputy Mayor Dynes Fulton. This was followed by a moving speech from local man Roger Jennings, detailing his experiences as a child in London during the war, when bombs were falling hither, thither and yon.
Mr Ross Hopkins of the New Zealand Military Vehicles Club was present, as were several of the WWII era vehicles restored by the club over the years, including the most recent addition: a German Kettenkrad motorcycle half-track.
Commander Fotheringham, who has been present at a number of the community Anzac services in Gordonton, reflected on the words of the cenotaph after the ceremony.
“All cenotaphs have the details of the war and the names of the fallen. But each cenotaph also has its own message. The Huntly cenotaph, for instance, says something to the effect of ‘Let every generation remember them,'” Cdr Fotheringham said.
The Gordonton cenotaph says simply, “For Humanity.” Cdr Fotheringham noted the bold letters in which these words are inscribed, meaning they can be seen even by modern motorists going 70-80 kph. An extraordinary feat of insight by those who erected the cenotaph, he said, considering passers-by in those days would have been capable of only going half half that speed, at most.
He also noted the lack of a full end date for the war, with the inscription simply saying ‘1914-19 ‘.
“The cenotaph was erected before the war was over, and those who built it had no idea when the war was going to end,” he said. “They could have corrected it after the war, but they didn’t. I think it’s a way of saying the war will never be over, not for those who fought in it, for the families it tore apart, the suffering it caused. The ripples of the war are still very much on the pond of New Zealand.”
Photos from the event can be seen below. If you would like a copy of a photo, email us here.
Words and text: Ciaran the Wonderful Warner