Monday, April 27, 2015

Remembering the fallen

The last few days have been somewhat busy, and we've all been pre-occupied by the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli during World War One.

Every city, town & village is making an effort to commemorate the event, as are many individuals and organisations. All in all, it has been a fascinating collective effort top mark a landmark event in our young nation's history.

And I have been at a number of events (with camera, of course!)

Hutt City has a large mural surrounding part of the major construction zone in the heart of the city:

The Hutt City mural - quite striking at night!

Wellington City Council mounted a supperb Light & Sound Show in the lead-up to ANZAC Day at the new Pukeahu National War memorial. They promised that "World War I will come to life" - not quite, but it was impressive, and Wellingtonians turned up in their tens of thousands.

The Man with the Donkey by Paul Walshe
For the story behind this iconic image see National War Memorial

On Friday, the day before ANZAC Day I was asked to represent my work at a Commemoration organised by the Ministry of Education. A moving ceremony was held in honour of the 44 staff of the old Department of Education who served and lost their lives WW1.

On my way back to the office, I paused to have a look at some of the vintage vehicles supplied courtesy of Peter Jackson, which later in the day would be involved in a major Parade through the centre of downtown Wellington.

And then the Parade began:

Officials and dignitaries made their inevitable appearance

There was even a fly-past!
One of the decorations on Wellington's Cenotaph

And then on Saturday, ANZAC Day itself, we attended the Hutt City Civic Ceremony. There were 1,000 seats set out, and they were filled, and still there was a sizable crowd who attended. This was apparently a repeat of exceeded expectations at the Dawn Ceremony.

We had an interest in 3 wreaths - Desiree wanted to see the students from Taita College, she was helping to lay a wreath on behalf of the Central ward Community Committee, and we had arranged for a wreath from the Hutt Valley Irish Society to commemorate the Irish fallen.

The Hutt City ceremony occurred at the newly renovated Cenotaph directly outside the War Memorial Library
A very large turn-out
Desiree assisting with the laying of a wreath from the Central Ward Committee
Taita College students placing a wreath
David, Molly, & Mary laying the Irish Society's wreath
In memory of the Irish who served and died
By the end of the Ceremony there was quite a collection of wreaths!
Crosses in the Filed of Remembrance beside the Cenotaph

Remembrance crosses and the Memorial Olive Tree from Crete

One of the interesting elements this year has been the extent to which shops, commercial and community organisations have marked the centenary. This has produced interesting efforts at displays, and impromptu memorials.

I must confess, however, that we happened to have a wreath on hand (doesn't one always?), and so we decided to place it on the Boulcott Memorial

The memorial at the corner of Military Road commemorating the dead from the Boulcott Farm Incident in 1846

This marker is at the foot of a flagstaff erected in 1916 to symbolise the unity of Railwaymen from both NZ and Australia
And it attracted a number of wreaths