Anzac Day 2012 - New Zealand remembers
17 Apr 2012
Anzac Day - nationwide
25 April, 2012
Australasian bonds are never more evident than when the two countries stand together to remember the fallen heroes of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on Anzac Day.
The landing of the ANZAC forces on the Gallipoli peninsula during WW1 on 25 April 1915, which resulted in massive loss of life, is remembered by New Zealanders and Australians throughout the world in public ceremonies and RSA functions and by wearing a red Flanders poppy.
Gallipoli - 1915
The Gallipoli battle in 1915 was the first major campaign undertaken by New Zealand and Australian soldiers, and both countries suffered extensive casualties. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders, almost a quarter of those who served at Gallipoli.
Each year thousands of Kiwis and Australians make a pilgrimage to the former battle field in Turkey for Anzac Day, and this year’s dawn service at Anzac Cove will mark the 97th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.
New Zealanders have marked the landings at Gallipoli since news of the event first reached the country, and Anzac Day has been a public holiday since 1921.
Ataturk War Memorial
There is even a little spot for Turkey in New Zealand - the Ataturk War Memorial on Wellington’s southern coast honours Turkey’s war dead. The memorial, unveiled in 1990, carries an inscription written by Ataturk in 1934 that is read every year on Anzac Day by the Turkish Ambassador.
The monument was part of an agreement between the Turkish, Australian and New Zealand governments that saw the cove on the Gallipoli peninsula renamed Anzac Cove, and the establishment of monuments to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - the divisional commander at Gallipoli who became the first president of modern Turkey.
The Ataturk Memorial is situated on a ridge above Tarakena Bay, Wellington, and overlooking Cook Strait. The site was chosen for its remarkable likeness to the landscape of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Wreath-laying services are held at the memorial on Anzac Day, and during August to commemorate the Battle for Chunuk Bair.
Anzac Day 2012 national services
Key national services take place in Wellington where the day begins with a dawn parade and a service and wreath-laying at the Cenotaph outside Parliament Buildings. Further services and wreath-laying ceremonies including a national commemorative service will be held throughout the morning.
From dawn to dusk there will be a vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial. The Unknown Warrior - repatriated from France in 2004 - was one of more than 9000 New Zealand servicemen who died in war and have no known grave.
In the evening the commemorative ‘We'll Meet Again’ concert at Wellington Town Hall is a tribute to the service men and women of both world wars.
In Auckland the Anzac Day programme begins with a dawn commemorative service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The museum’s several Anzac activities include free guided tours highlighting Anzac history and musical performances.
The museum will also literally set the scene for weekend screenings (21 & 22 April) of ‘Illuminate: Our Veterans’, a commissioned film created from archival footage that will be projected onto the museum’s façade. The film celebrates veterans and the bonds that were forged in war and, for many, lasted a lifetime.
The Anzac VB Test Match is one of Australia and New Zealand’s favourite cross-Tasman rugby league events, balancing passionate sporting rivalry with the camaraderie created by the shared Anzac heritage. The clash between the Kiwis and the Kangaroos will take place at Mt Eden Park in Auckland on 20 April - the first time New Zealand has hosted the Anzac Test since 1998.
MOTAT Museum of Transport & Technology will have a collection of wartime memorabilia on display and the Aviation Display Hall is home to military and civil aircraft including a RNZAF Skyhawk, Lancaster Bomber, DC3, Cessna and Tiger Moth. The museum is a popular family destination.
Poignant & colourful
The number of people attending Anzac Day events throughout New Zealand increases each year.
In most places, the day begins with a sombre commemorative service at dawn, with wreath-laying and the haunting sound of The Last Post played by a lone bugler, and some of the most poignant and colourful moments will take place in smaller towns and rural districts.
At Wanaka - home of the renowned Warbirds over Wanaka show and the just opened Warbirds & Wheels classic fighter plane museum - local pilot Pete Hendricks will do a fly past honouring the war heroes in his vintage Tiger Moth. The fly over will take place after the remembrance and wreath-laying ceremony at the Lake Wanaka Centre.
In the North Island, the Australian naval ship HMAS Warramunga will be docked at the Port of Tauranga during Anzac Day, and will be involved in a several commemorations in the Bay of Plenty region at Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, Rotorua and Taupo.
Tinui Anzac Day heritage
The rural Wairarapa community of Tinui, near Masterton in the lower North Island, which lays claim as the first place in the world to hold an Anzac Day commemoration, has been working to preserve its long Anzac heritage.
The Rev Basil Ashcroft organised the first Anzac Day service in the Tinui Church of the Good Shepherd on 25 April 1916 - just a year after the Gallipoli campaign began.
After the service, Ashcroft led the people 3km to the top of nearby Mt Maunsell to erect a permanent memorial - a cross that became New Zealand’s first Anzac memorial of its type and which stood on the hilltop for nearly 50 years before an aluminium cross replaced it in 1965.
Tinui’s Anzac Day memorial cross site was officially recognised last year by the Historic Places Trust with a category 1 listing for its historic and cultural significance. The community is now campaigning for recognition of the church for its part in the original 1916 Anzac service. The church already has a category 2 listing.
"Apart from a trip to Gallipoli, Tinui must be the most spiritually significant place for New Zealanders to visit," according to Destination Wairarapa manager David Hancock.
Anzac WWI air show
A commemorative Anzac WW1 air show will take place at Masterton’s Hood Aerodrome on 28 April.
The air show will feature aircraft from the Vintage Aviator Collection - one of the largest collections of WWI original, reproduction and replica aircraft in the world - and see up to 12 pilots taking to the skies in a spirited aerial display. It will also feature the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car from the 1968 movie starring Dick Van Dyke, offering rides and photo opportunities for donations to charity.
The Vintage Aviator Collection, at Hood Aerodrome, will also be open for visits and tours.
Anzac Day: the day Kiwis remember
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