Topic: ANZAC

ANZAC Commemorations take place at Te Rewarewa Marae, Ruatoki

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Many years ago they were engrossed by war, however today it's all about remembering.

More than 100 past soldiers, members of the force and family members who were representing their loved ones who couldn't be here, came together to form a march making their way to Te Rewarewa Marae.

There, they were welcomed by 300 members of the public.

“There were so many people here, it was awesome to see, so many people on the marae.  Old soldiers and family that are here to support them, this is what you see at Te Rewarewa,” says John McCorkindale.

The eldest returned servicemen that was present today was 93-year-old James Fowell, who was in the Army and travelled to Cassino in 1941.  

He usually attends the Whakatāne service, but came out to Te Rewarewa this year with his family.

“It brings back memories and it brings back all your old mates that were with you, and what did not come home, we were lucky we came home of course” says the returned serviceman.

Whānau were invited to place wreaths in respect for their family members who have passed on, Emaraina Milroy has been making ANZAC wreathes for over 20 years and often sees her work at these ANZAC ceremonies.

Emaraina has now passed on her knowledge to her daughter Tina, who has now taken up this job every year.

Next year's ANZAC Ceremony will be even bigger, to mark 100 years of celebrating ANZAC Day.