Saturday, May 18, 2024

Young ones look up to local war heroes

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Students leaders of nine primary and intermediate schools gathered at the Howick RSA to hear war heroes share stories of the war and after. Times photos Farida Master

Howick RSA is helping students broaden their knowledge of what Kiwis endured in previous military campaigns.

“We were aware that a lot of New Zealand soldiers died in World War I but didn’t know that almost 250,000 men were wounded or lost their lives in the First World War,” said a student leader of Howick Intermediate after recently listening to three war heroes at the Howick RSA.

“I had no idea what the Last Post meant,” said a student of Pakuranga Intermediate School.

“Now after hearing the war heroes’ talk, I know what the bugle call really means.”

As a way of getting young ones involved in the countdown to Anzac Day, Howick RSA arranged for three war heroes to share their stories with student leaders from nine local primary and intermediate schools.

Students of Pakuranga Heights, Ormiston Primary, Bucklands Beach Primary, Howick Intermediate, Farm Cove, Wakaaranga, Sunny Hills, Somerville Intermediate and Our Lady Star of the Sea listened as Vietnam War hero Barry Dreyer, along with Andrew Lister and President of Howick RSA Mike Cole spoke about the meaning of Anzac Day, Poppy Day, dawn service and threw light on the Last Post, ode and reveille.

They impressed on children the gravity of war.

“Every family in New Zealand was affected by post traumatic stress disorder of the First World War,” said Mr Cole.

“War is not like they show in the movies-they don’t get up and keep going …they die.

“Anzac Day is not to glorify war but to remind ourselves of the sacrifices made by New Zealand men.”

Students of different schools also gathered around Howick RSA’s oldest member, 99-year-old Eric Wilson, a Second World War army veteran, with a sharp mind who could recollect every detail of the war.

On Sunday Howick RSA in partnership with Uxbridge will host a children’s art exhibition of Poppy and Anzac Day. All are welcome.

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