Contributed by Jan Jordan:
As we all know, COVID-19 prohibited any of the usual ANZAC Day commemorations. Instead people were encouraged to “Stand at Dawn” at their front gates to remember the great toll war took on the lives of all those involved. Four Strathnaver Drive folk, Kevin, Rose, Flick and Alastair, organised a gathering between their driveways centred round an illuminated poppy memorial. The virtual dawn service was played via radio to the ten brave souls who gathered on Saturday morning, some wearing medals, others home-crafted poppies.
The service featured an address by Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, in which he acknowledged how the ravages of war included its impacts not only on those killed but on all who returned from its horrors. The few World War II veterans still living are, he recognised, in the highest risk group for the Corona virus the country is currently fighting. Parallels were drawn with the 1918 influenza epidemic that claimed more than 9000 lives in New Zealand, adding so soon to the casualties from World War 1.
While the wind whipping round was chilly, attending the Strathnaver Service was a warming community affair reminding us of the importance of peace and human connection.
Meanwhile, another Waikawa Beach resident wrote at The Spinoff Lockdown letters #29, Glen Colquhoun: An Anzac memorial:
Dear Archie Baxter,
Well brother, I suppose it’s here again. Anzac Day and all that. I’m not sure what conscientious objectors make of it to be honest.
Update: One Waikawa Beach resident played the Last Post at Hank Edwards Reserve on Anzac Day.
Watch the video: Last Post played by Camiel van Schoonhoven.