The total donations received for Poppies to Friday April 28th are $22,753.80 a wonderful result.
The ANZAC Dawn and Civic Services and Parades were both well attended, the weather was magnificent and the atmosphere vibrant.
President Derek Williams addressed the huge crowd attending the Dawn Parade, giving a poignant speech about the horrors of war, relevant in today’s global political arena. Mount College student Stella Affleck’s beautiful rendition of the Australian and New Zealand National Anthem’s, and the song ‘Sons of Gallipoli’ were very moving, this is the third year that we have had the privilege of hearing Stella sing. Mt RSA Chaplin, the Reverend Marie Gilpin did a Stirling job with the Scripture reading and benediction’s. The Parade Marshall this year was Sergeant Wayne Day NZIF, the Parade was led by lone Piper Angela Dixon who also ‘piped’ the Lament when Executive Member Alex Pluck, and long-time Member Gordon Johnston laid the only wreath for the Mt RSA. The Marchers with Veterans leading included a large contingent of NZ Police, Mt Fire Brigade, representatives from NZs three armed forces, the Crew of HMNZ Taupo and a smartly turned out Company of Papamoa and Mount Boy Scouts. The Flyover by two WWII Harvard’s was well appreciated by those attending, a big thank you to Andrew Gormly of Classic Flyers. Cadets from TS Chatham AFC provided the Cenotaph Guard for both Services, Guard Commander for the Dawn service was PO Shaun Berry, with Sargent Luc Brindley-Richards in charge of the guard at the Civic Service. Bugler for both Services was Bruce Vyle, a member of the Salvation Army Band.
Guests attending the Dawn Service included Tauranga City Mayor, Greg Brownless, Western BOP MP Todd Muller, several members of New Zealand’s Defence Force including Colonel Warren Banks NZIF, the Crew of HMNZS Taupo. Royal Australian Air Force Group Captain Ron Tilly attended both Services with his wife and 9 year old son.
The Civic Service which had had less of a crowd, in their 100’s as opposed to the 1000’s at the Dawn event was no less poignant. The March was led by the City of Tauranga Pipe Band and the Mt RSA Colour Party, a wonderful contingent of young marchers including: Girl Guiding, Papamoa Brownies, Mount and Papamoa Scouts, Kea’s and Cubs.
Following a welcome by Mt RSA President Derek Williams , the Reverend Marie Gilpin held a prayer and Scripture reading. Led by the Oriana Singers who were accompanied by the Salvation Army Band, the crowd sang both National anthems. Tauranga Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout welcomed everybody on behalf of the City and gave an excellent address. Mount Maunganui College Head Students Julia Kayes and George Haswell were this year’s guest speakers. Julia spoke of a great Aunt who, during WW1 received the highest decorations a nursing Sister could be awarded. George also spoke of his descendant’s military experiences. Both speakers were concise, relevant and a pleasure to listen to. An ANZAC poem was recited by its author Wendy Baker, Wendy whose father was a WWII Veteran and an ex member of the Mt RSA, gave a beautiful rendition of the poem which added another dimension to our service. After the wreaths were laid many from youth groups and Schools including Mt College, Mt Intermediate, Mount Primary, Tahatai Coast to the lament played by the Piper, the second impressive flyover of the day, and Benediction, Last post, Ode to Fallen and Reveille. ANZAC Day Services were over for 2017. We will remember them.
When the crowd were dispersing after the Veterans marched off, a group of Mt Maunganui College Students, including our speakers, took over the folding, stacking and loading of the chairs, they did a great job –a big thank you to them and everyone else who made the events so special this year .
Peter Moss – Club Support Manager