ANZAC Remembrance Service returns2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
It was with great relief that Onehunga RSA members were able to hold a Remembrance Service this year, after last year’s level 4 lockdown. Due to continuing uncertainty over Covid-19, the parade down Onehunga Mall did not take place, but the service itself went ahead upstairs in the Club Onehunga building.
RSA and Club Onehunga president, Gez Ranson, said he was very pleased and relieved about the turnout, as they were not sure what numbers they could expect. “After last year it was nice to be doing something this year.” He also promised that the parade would be back next year.
Around 150 people attended the service, including Maungakiekie MP, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who laid a wreath. Other wreaths were laid by the Royal Oak Scout Troop, the Ismali Muslim Community and the Dianne Timu Whanau, alongside the RSA’s traditional wreaths.
Guest speaker was Lt. Shon van Tiel of the 3/6 Auckland and Northland and 6th Hauraki Battalion. He spoke about the Battle of Kapyong during the Korean War, where New Zealand and Australian troops had once again fought side by side.
The battle was fought on ANZAC Day 70 years ago. The soldiers had been preparing for a special joint parade, which would have included members of the Turkish forces that were part of the United Nations force in Korea. However a sudden attack by Chinese forces meant instead of a parade, they found themselves in battle. Lt van Tiel noted that 2021 is also the 75th anniversary of J Force, the occupation of Japan following the end of World War II.
Mt Roskill Grammar prefects, Corey Nelson and Deylone Tohilima, alongside veteran Peter Rhodes, participated in the reading of the ANZAC Ode in English and Māori. with the audience joining in for the chorus.
Unfortunately there was a hiccup on the day, after Auckland Council had incorrectly published on its website that there would be a parade. Despite efforts by the RSA to contact the Council and correct the mistake, the post was not removed and a number of people turned up expecting a parade. Gez Ranson apologised for any inconvenience caused.
(Anaru Watson raises the flag as Reveille is played)