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Ōtaki College ANZAC Commemoration Service

posted 19 Apr 2016, 21:26 by OC Web   [ updated 19 Apr 2016, 21:43 ]
Following on from its Fields of Remembrance 100 Year Commemorative Service in 2015 where 30 white crosses were laid, Ōtaki College again remembered those who fell at Gallipoli in an ANZAC Service held at College on the last day of term.

This year the emphasis was on the effect of war on those left at home in New Zealand. In their Social Studies classes Year 7-9 students had researched what life was like in New Zealand during WWI. From their findings they created an evocative powerpoint presentation and short film focussing on the challenges faced by families during the war years.

President of the Ōtaki RSA, Mr Pat Kenny, told students that, whilst 2015 had marked the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, 2016 was the 100th anniversary of the setting up of the Returned Services Association. He explained that the RSA had been set up when the wounded started returning home from war. He said that funds raised from Red Poppy collections all around the country still went towards supporting veterans and their families. These days it was soldiers who had fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan that the RSA assisted.

Students and staff then filed out of the hall while the wiata Hoea Rā Te Waka Nei, originally sung as a fundraiser for the troops fighting and dying in the swamps at Passchendaele, was played. Everyone gathered together in front of the flagpole outside the hall and students listened in respectful silence as Mr Wood spoke about those that had died at Gallipoli in service of their country. He talked of the courage, commitment and endurance of both soldiers and families left behind. Heads of School, Ashleigh Stevenson, Sophrose London, Jordan Thompson and Felix Crowe read the names of the soldiers and medics whose names were on the 30 commemorative crosses. Mr Colin Honey played the Last Post and a minute’s silence followed while everyone remembered those who had lost their lives and those who had suffered as a result.

After the recitation of the Ode of Remembrance in Māori and in English, students listened to a haunting karanga for the fallen by Head of English, Jess Wilson. The Head Boy and Girl laid flowers on the field of crosses, one bouquet for the fallen soldiers of WWI and one for Ōtaki College student, Rena Sciascia, who had lost her own hard-fought battle against cancer earlier in the week. The service closed with Mr Honey playing Reveille as the flag was raised.

For the Year 9 Presentation, click here.
For more photos of the service, click here.