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Published On: Sat, May 9th, 2015

New Zealand’s Anzac Day Is Akin To America’s Memorial Day Celebration

Celebrating Anzac Day in New Zealand is akin to celebrating Memorial Day in America. The celebration is an annual event for the quaint village of Tinui, New Zealand, situated east of Masterton and populated by 25 residents. In Maori, the name for this tiny village translates to cabbage tree.

Tinui was the first New Zealand location to erect an Anzac cross. The tin cross was embedded on Mount Maunsell, the highest ridge adjacent to the village. On April 26, 1916, the trek was led by Vicar Basil Ashcroft, of Church of The Good Shepherd.

The 90th celebration occurred on April 26, 2006 during which time the town population increased 100 fold and more with visitors for the event. On this occasion, celebrating Anzac Day commenced with a worship service at 7:30 AM at the church that is still active today.

Anzac Day at Manly, Brisbane, Australia, 1922. photo/ John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Anzac Day at Manly, Brisbane, Australia, 1922. photo/ John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

At the conclusion of the service, a pipe ensemble leads a parade to honor and in remembrance of seven out of over a thousand men who perished during battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula. At the site of the Memorial, children call out the 48 names, one-by-one, of the 36 casualties from World War I and 12 from World War II. The 1914-1918 portion of the list contains six men all bearing the same last name.

Among those remembered is Private J. R. (Jack) Dunn who was ordered to be executed by gun fire for sleeping during sentry duty. History recounts that this man’s sentence was set aside by British General Ian Hamilton, ironically only to perish several days later at the Chuck Bair skirmish from which his body is yet to be recovered.

Celebrating Anzac Day continues with an address delivered by a high-ranking member of New Zealand’s military personnel whose duty it is to recount New Zealand’s role of providing assistance to foreign nations in times of battle. The address attributes the reason for the small number of World War II casualties to military downsizing.

At the conclusion of the address, the ceremony continues with the New Zealand National Anthem sung in both Maori and English followed by a Scripture reading, Hymn of Praise “How Great Thou Art” and recitation of “For The Fallen,” a poem penned by Laurence Binyon.

At the 2006 observance, a hymn entitled “Called Honor The Dead,” composed by New Zealand native, Shirley Murray was sung to the tune of “Abide With Me.” One verse honors conscientious objectors locally known as conchies. After wreaths are positioned at the base of the memorial, Last Post, akin to Taps, is piped as three World War I aircraft execute a fly-over. The planes are part of a vintage collection housed at Hood Aerodrome and belonging to Sir Peter Jackson.

For the 2015 observance before an estimated crowd of 2,000, the address was delivered by retired RSM Bob Davis. The current Vicar Steve Thomson presided and a Kiwi Tea reception was hosted by the Womens Institute.

Each year, an invitation is extended for hale and hearty visitors to join locals of the same caliber for a trek up Mount Maunsell for a close-up view and maintenance inspection of the cross.

Guest Author: Archie Ward

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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