Click on the link below to open a poem by Gerald Taylor of Bucklands Beach, Auckland. Gerald was inspired to write a poem when he was in Australia just prior to ANZAC Day 2017. He was touched by the obvious care a young man was taking in tending the Memorial to troops at Manly Town Centre.

Gerald kindly sent us a copy of his poem to reflect on.

Anzac Day is a national day of commemoration observed on 25 April each year. It commemorates those who died serving New Zealand during war while honouring returned and current servicemen and women, past and present.

25 April marks the day in 1915 when Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in Turkey, the site of New Zealand's first major battle of World War One with the loss of over 2,700 New Zealand soldiers.


For interest we have copied, below, David Sinton's address he gave at the Dawn Parade:


On the 15 th July 1915 the ship Willochra enters Wellington Harbour to a large crowd awaiting its arrival. On board are the first wounded back from Gallipoli, the first returned soldiers of WW1. A soldier that disembarks that day was Donald Simson, who quickly realizes the need for an association of returned soldiers and is instrumental in the formation of a number of local associations throughout the Country.

Simson calls a national meeting that establishes the NZ Returned Soldiers' Association on 28 th April 1916, one hundred years ago.

By 1920 the membership had swollen to 57,000 out of a returned soldier population of 80,000. The RSA quickly becomes an advocate for veterans as well as providing its own welfare services with the introduction of Poppy Day in 1922. 

At the same time as subscribing to memorials for the dead, the Public supports building club rooms for the living. The RSA successfully presses for ANZAC Day to be a public holiday in 1921, and develops a uniform service, based on a military funeral, to keep faith with dead comrades and their grieving families. 

In the 1990's the RSA entered a renaissance which exists to today. It reflects the growing interest of New Zealanders in their military heritage and a shift in attention from politics of war to remembering the human experience of war. 

At the time when WWII members are less able to take an active part, the baton is being taken up by the new generation of returned and service members, as well as a rapidly growing number of the new Associate members, all part of a vibrant nationwide organization. 

The needs for the RSA still exist today. The numbers of younger ex and present service personnel who have served in places like East Timor, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, will need the help of the RSA in the future, as did their forebears in the past. We need to be there for them. 

Our future lies not only in those I have just mentioned, but indeed in the young people represented here today as The Honour guard, and the bugler. The Honour guard comes from 37 Squadron, ATC, under the command of SQDN LDR Horn. We, as an RSA are deeply indebted to them for their willingness to attend in these capacities, and it is indeed wonderful to see young people, teenagers indeed, taking part in such a way today. Your bearing on parade, and your dress is a credit to you and your officers. 

Thank you sincerely, and you are invited back to the RSA for breakfast to continue to be a part of todays celebrations. 

To all those that have taken part in todays parade, thank you sincerely for being here this morning. 

The annual Poppy Appeal is the primary source of funds for the RSA's extensive provision of support services to the service community.

You don't have to be a member of an RSA to benefit from the Poppy Appeal assistance. Donations are used to support both current and ex-service men and women, including the NZ Police, and their dependents, living in the community where the funds are raised.

The Poppy reminds us of sacrifices made – both past and present - as they were the first flowers that grew in the battlefields of Flanders in Belgium during World War One and are a symbol of remembrance and hope.

The Poppy Day street collection is held each year on the Friday before Anzac Day. In 2017, we're getting our poppies ready for Friday April 21st. During the appeal, hard working RSA volunteers exchange distinctive red poppies for a donation to the Poppy Appeal. All funds raised go towards our vital support work, which can include financial support, advocacy, family days and access to strong network of people who have been through similar experiences, to name a few.

So please make whatever donation you can afford on Poppy Day. Your generosity enables us to continue what we do, both at a national and local RSA level.



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