You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Call to remember the Anzacs heeded

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/04/2016

The nation's capital has heeded the call to remember the Anzacs, as thousands of people gathered to commemorate the soldiers New Zealand lost in the theatre of war.

Dignitaries, servicemen and women, and Wellingtonians alike turned up droves for the dawn service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park despite concerns that many would forgo the event following the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in 2015.

While crowd numbers were down on last year's landmark event, soldiers at the service expressed their gratitude that New Zealanders continued to remember their fallen and returned troops.

"It is a relief, honestly," one told NZN.

Among the guests at the service in the nation's capital were Prime Minister John Key, Australian High Commissioner Peter Woolcott and the Turkish ambassador Damla Yesim Say.

The Australian and Turkish representatives joined Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae in laying wreaths.

Air Force chaplain Anthony Hawes narrated the impeccably observed dawn service, welcoming the support that it still receives from the New Zealand public.

"A hundreds years ago, they called for a national day of mourning and it was answered," he told the crowd.

"Here we are still gathering 100 years later."

The unpredictable Wellington weather was also well-behaved, with its trademark wind gusts lacking.

Throughout the crowd, people of all ages, from all walks of life were equally represented with many proudly wearing the military medals of their forebears who had served their country.

It was Sir Jerry, a former soldier himself, who reminded the audience of some of the lesser-known New Zealand war victims, including a story of Chinese Anzac Private James George Paterson of Otahuhu.

Pvte Paterson was one of the first to give his life in Gallipoli.

"Let us remember them," he said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon