Thursday, 26 April 2012

Anzac Day

The morning was beautiful for the Anzac Day ceremony. A crowd of maybe 200-300 gathered in anticipation at the war memorial. With Allan Brown officiating and Father Vaughan Leslie leading us in prayer and song, the atmosphere was one of reverance and respect.

The parade swelled with the youthful contingent of St Andrew Scout members and Girl Guides whose duties continued throughout the morning.

After the parade, laying of wreaths and the Last Post, we all retired to the Fire Station for a cup of tea. This is a first for our Anzac Day as the gathering usually takes place in the Town Hall. The hall is officially closed now which necessitated a change of venue.

After refreshments, Jim Gibson gave a presentation with photos of his trip to Korea last year. Jim is a veteran of the Korean War, and this trip was an opportunity for all who served in the war to be thanked by the Korean people. He recounted his experiences with glowing appraisal, beeming about the kindness and respect shown to him by the people he met.

Following the presentation, medals were awarded to Otautau RSA men who had served at least 3 years. Recipients included Peter Ayson, John McAlister, Jim Gibson and Brian Drummond. I'm sorry that I don't have the names of all who received the award. If you know, please leave a comment.



The last event was a visit to the cemetery where St Andrews Scout Group and Girl Guides laid poppies on the graves of soldiers. These are great kids and it's so heartening that they showed so much interest and respect. This is the first time that the RSA have organised pinning poppies on the graves, and the kids made the whole thing really special for all of us.


More photos of the day can be found at the Southland Times Gallery Otautau Anzac section.

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