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Anzac Day crowd urged to keep memory of service alive in local hearts

Flagstaff Team

Leading the parade… Drum major Craig Rhodes from North Shore Brass and trombonist Esther Simpson lead the way for service personnel and their families and schools marching to the Takapuna war memorial last Sunday for a well-attended Anzac Day service.

Takapuna residents of all ages stood side-by-side to welcome their Anzac Day commemorations back to the war memorial in The Strand last Sunday, after a two-year absence. A good crowd spread out along the street as the forecourt in front of the council buildings soon filled for 25 April morning remembrances and wreath laying.

North Shore Brass Band heralded the traditional parade up Lake Rd from Sanders Ave, wheeling around the corner to where North Shore Chorale members were waiting to lead the singing of hymns. Representatives of the military and local officials all had their part to play, with members of the public then moving forward to leave poppies and reflect.

Local primary and secondary schools turned out in number, with senior students from Rosmini College and Carmel College to the fore in giving readings from scripture and offering prayers and poems. Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Aidan Bennett officiated, acknowledging the efforts of guest speaker Gavin Sheehan in ensuring bronze plaques recognising former service personnel from the area stayed on streets named after them.

Sheehan urged the crowd to keep the Anzac Day story alive in their communities by passing on family stories to the next generation and to libraries and history groups.

The next day, he led an Urban Festival Walking Tour to explain the stories of sacrifice behind eight plaques in Hauraki, Takapuna, Milford and Forrest Hill.

Forward march… Veterans follow the day’s parade master, Flight Lieutenant Alex Koppenaal, on Lake Rd
School assembly… Secondary and primary pupils turned out in force
Poppy pride… Symbols of sacrifice were proudly worn and left by many

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