Thursday, May 23, 2024

Aucklanders invited to Anzac Day commemorations

Auckland Council and the Auckland RSA (Returned Services Association) are inviting Aucklanders to come together in remembrance on Anzac Day, 25 April, at events across the region.

Anzac Day pays tribute to those who served and gave their lives in the Great War and subsequent conflicts around the world.

Mayor of Auckland, Wayne Brown encourages all who can to attend a parade or service this Anzac Day.

“These events are an important reminder to remember those who have lost so much,” he said.

“ANZAC Day has special significance to me as the son of a World War II veteran. My father served in Italy, Greece, and North America. His account of war had a profound impact on me. He was fortunate enough to come home but many others were not.”

Anzac Day services in Auckland are hosted by Auckland Council, Auckland RSA and other veteran groups and community groups. The events provide opportunities for reflection, commemoration and unity as the community gathers to honour the Anzac legacy and the sacrifice they made.

More than 80 parades and services are set to take place in communities across Auckland.

The public are invited to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Auckland Domain in association with Auckland Council, Auckland RSA and NZ Vietnam Veterans Association.

The service begins at 6am with a dawn service, followed by a centennial choir performance from Mount Albert Grammar School.

This year, there are even more large screens on site to allow for greater viewing areas, and coffee vans will be there from 5am with Anzac biscuits available for a gold coin donation to the RSA.

In the lead up to Anzac Day, key locations around Auckland will light up in poppy-red in support of the annual RSA Poppy Day appeal on 19 April. Vector Lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge will light up 19-25 April 6pm to midnight to commemorate both Poppy Day and Anzac Day. Vector Lights will also be lit from 5-7am on 25 April to usher in Anzac Day morning.

Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum will be lit 19-25 April (including Anzac Day evening) from dusk until dawn.Other landmarks around Auckland will light up in support of Poppy Day and Anzac Day, including Sky Tower, Eden Park, Westfield Newmarket, Te Te Ara I Whiti – The Lightpath and Queen Street Lights.

On both Poppy Day and Anzac Day, the New Zealand Warbirds Association will conduct a flyover across Tāmaki Makaurau.

On 19 April, the warbirds will fly around the greater Auckland region from 11.30 am, covering as many RSAs and RSCs as possible in their trademark billowing smoke.

On Anzac Day, the warbird procession will start with a pass over Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum before heading over the city centre. The flyover will then travel over suburbs across the region.

This year also marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Cassino, Italy to be commemorated in mid-May and the Landings at Normandy, France (D-Day) to be commemorated on 6 June.

The Battle of Cassino took place in 1944 and was one of the most brutal and costly battles involving New Zealand forces in the Second World War, with 343 New Zealand soldiers killed and a further 1,200 wounded.

Also in 1944, on 6 June, a huge military machine embarked on the invasion of occupied France, known as the Landings at Normandy. Approximately 10,000 New Zealanders were involved in the campaign through the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

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