ANZAC Day 2008

ANMuseumZAC day is important to those of us who dwell in the Paua Palace. The Prince is from a long line of military types, his great grandfather fought in the first world war, his grandfather in the second and his father was in the air force in the Vietnam era, but never saw active service because of our government’s policy of the time, Vietnam was strictly voluntary for NZ forces, unlike our Australian counterparts who resorted to conscription. The Prince was a soldier himself when I met him.

Every ANZAC Day, 25th April we attend Dawn Parade at the Auckland Domain. You can find a description of the service and an ANZAC cookie recipe here. We have promised ourselves that when the pipi’s are grown, we will travel to Turkey, to spend 25th April at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, where our nation came of age.

This year, we began earlier than usual, we attended a special night time showing of the only known moving film footage taken during the Gallipoli campaign, restored by famous director Peter Jackson and projected onto the walls of the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It was astounding to see just how many people were there. I managed to take a few shots without disturbing people with my flash, the best of which is pictured above. This is a Herald link to the Heroes Of Gallipoli footage screened, you can also see Ode to the Fallen, which shows ANZAC services past, with a recitation of the Ode and the bugler playing the Last Post. The haunting notes of the Last Post never fail to bring a lump to my throat.

This post will be updated as the day progresses.

4 am4am

People are beginning to arrive but the quad outside the Museum is quite empty. We arrived and took up a position on the low wall around the quad.

asdawnThe Cataflaque guard is made up of Territorial Soldiers from 3 Auck North, the flags are lowered and raised by air cadets. I think their job is toughest, the Cataflaque guard rests on arms on the corners of the Cenotaph, heads bowed for the majority of the service, until they are called to attention for the flags to be lowered and then raised. The cadets stare at the cenotaph for the entire service, waiting to lower the flags during the last post and raise them at revellee.cataflaque

Rest at arms, used to be with a 303 rifle, the barrel rested on the boot and the hands sat confortably on the stock. These days a Stier automatic rifle is used, it’s a lot shorter than a full length rifle and hangs on the side of the body, making the rest at arms pose far less confortable.

Still, it’s impressive as always.

cousinsFollowing the Dawn Service at the Domain War Memorial, we had breakfast with my Brother and Sister in law and their daughters and played a spirited but somewhat lawless game of Netball which included the Prince and my Brother in law, well matched in height, shaking the goal to prevent each other from scoring goals. Last Post at Henderson

Then we attended our local midday service at the RSA, our nieces were marching in the parade representing St John Ambulance Cadets.

The parade started at our fire station and marched along to the drumbeat down to the RSA. The girls looked fabulous in their black St John Ambulance Cadet Uniforms and marched with Veterans, current serving Air Force, Guides, Scouts, Brownies and Fire Service personel.

FlagsdownAgain flags were lowered at the Last Post and raised during Revellee, hymns and the National Anthem were sung, the wee Pipi Princess has learned the National Anthem at school and sang along lustily if somewhat tunelessly.wreaths

Wreaths were laid and the poppy’s worn by the watching crowd were placed upon the memorial stone. Mine was left at the Cenotaph this at the Domain earlier, in Memory of my Uncle Mick who was shot down over France on April 22 1941.

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2 Responses to “ANZAC Day 2008”

  1. are your neighbours still smashing glass and driving you batty?

  2. Yes, the maroons! I live in hope the weed wacker will bother them as much as they bother me!

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