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Pipes and Drums March at 2015 Anzac Parade

April 28, 2015 at 1:33 PM

As New Zealanders and Australians looked back on 100 years of ANZAC Day Remembrance, it was fitting that the College Pipes & Drums marked the occasion after 50 years of tradition, parading for ANZAC Day ceremonies and services.

Anzac Day was originally established to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Over time it’s meaning broadened to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations, and to recognise the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. 

Fifty years ago, on the 50th Anniversary of this day, the then fledgling Saint Kentigern Pipe Band answered an invitation from families of Saint Kentigern College boarders and travelled to the Waikato town of Te Kauwhata to lead their ANZAC Day parade. Over the following  four and a half decades, without fail, the band returned each year to lead the parade, renew old acquaintances and meet up with Saint Kentigern farming families from around the Waikato.  Our students would look forward with anticipation to hearing stories from old World War I Veterans – some of whom had even lied about their age in order to sign-up and go to war. The band’s involvement was important to successive generations of our students as they quickly recognised the significance of the World Wars and the devastating effect they had on small New Zealand communities.

In just recent years, with the passing on of many veterans and the closure of the Te Kauwhata RSA, the Pipes & Drums took the opportunity to shift its attention and serve the local community and accepted an invitation to take part in the Parade and Remembrance Service at Stockade Hill in Howick.  This year Saint Kentigern was well represented as the College Pipes & Drums, The Old Collegians Pipe Band, College Prefects and student representatives from Saint Kentigern Girls’ and Boys’ Schools joined the parade of veterans and current serving personnel. During the very poignant service, prefect representatives, Jonathan Baskett and Lauren Dalton laid wreaths on the memorial, before the full parade reformed and marched back down through the village, where more large crowds had gathered. 

Even with the passage time, ANZAC Day is just as relevant to our students now, as it ever was. There is important recognition and an acute awareness that so many who paid the ultimate sacrifice were not much older than themselves.   For the students of the Pipes & Drums their continued commitment is their tribute to all of those who have served.

 

 

 

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