Word of the day

April 25, 2012

Sacrifice– a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable or of preventing some evil;  a ritual killing of a person or animal with the intention of propitiating or pleasing a deity;  a symbolic offering of something to a deity; the person, animal, or object surrendered, destroyed, killed, or offered; a religious ceremony involving one or more sacrifices; loss entailed by giving up or selling something at less than its value; to make a sacrifice (of); give up, surrender, or destroy a person/thing;  to give up or lose one’s personal interests or well-being for the sake of others or for a cause.


We will remember them

April 25, 2012

The Maheno war memorial  records the names of 42 men who died in WWI, a plaque at the entrance to the reserve records the names of those who died in WWII.

Each Anzac Day people gather at this and other similar memorials around the country to remember.

At this morning’s service about 40 people from young children to the elderly came.

One young woman paid tribute to her grandfather, a returned service man who was there.

I’d been asked to give the address. I said:

On Anzac Day we remember and revere heroes and  acts of extraordinary bravery.

Today we also remember and pay tribute to the ordinary people who answered the call, who served and sacrificed, overseas and at home.

One of those was a young Scot who came to New Zealand to work in the Haka Valley during the depression.

He joined the Otago Mounted Rifles as a territorial. When war broke out the following year he enlisted with the 20th Battalion and served with them in Egypt and Italy. 

He was badly burnt when a tank exploded and spent a fortnight in a saline bath. He was also taken prisoner but managed to escape and find his way back to allied troops. He was one of the soldiers described by Battalion commander Jim Burrows as those magnificent men after the break out from Minquar Qaim.

He didn’t talk much about what the war was like – but a photo illustrates it: It shows him with four others from a company of 120 who started the battle of Ruweisat Ridge. These five were the only ones left for the survivor’s parade at the battle’s end.

When his active service finished after the Battle of Casino, he stayed with the New Zealand army and was posted to London as a driver.

While he was away, she was serving at home.

When war broke out she began working a night a week at casualty and also attended first aid classes.

In 1943 she was called up by the army and posted to Trentham.

The new recruits were met by a sergeant at the Wellington ferry terminal who issued their uniforms: men’s greatcoats, battle dress, rain coats and boots. They then continued by train to Trentham where they found their new homes were unlined huts some distance from the ablutions. It wasn’t unusual to wake on winter mornings to find flowers frozen in the vases.

Her duties at the camp hospital included polishing. Everything had to be ready for inspection by the matron and colonel in charge.

The volunteer aides were called on for injection parade and after receiving their own jabs were expected to look after the men receiving theirs.

These two people were my parents. When the war ended Dad returned to New Zealand to take up a rehab apprenticeship as a carpenter and Mum trained as a nurse.

Their service to their country and community continued throughout their lives through the church, a variety of voluntary organisations and in many informal ways, typical of their generation.

It is easy when headlines are so full of the ills of the world to think that younger people don’t have the same selflessness.

But last night the RSA gave the award of Anzac of the Year to the Student Volunteer Army, reminding us that the youth of today can and do put others before self.

These young men and women are of similar ages to the people we remember today. The ones who gave so much in war that we might live in peace.

We haven’t been called to serve as our parents, grandparents and great grandparents were, but we owe it to them and the future for which they fought to do what we can to make the world a better place in big ways or small.

We can’t all be heroes but we can all serve.


Lest we forget

April 25, 2012

. . .  After the hymn the captain up on the dais asks us to bow our heads and in a low sonorous voice he reads out the roll of honour, the names of those from this district who paid the supreme sacrifice. ‘Adamson, Brown, Baker, Hammond . . .’

Listening intently, I catch my breath as I realise most of these names are familiar int he district still. ‘McInnes, Munro, Munro, Polaski, Rowe  . . .’ And some lost sons in both world wars! After the roll of Honour the Shire President from Moreton gives a short address and lays a wreath of flowers at the base of the memorial. Some people from the crowd step up and do the same. Then all the old diggers file past the memorial, each halting for a moment to stand before it with head reverently bowed, hand across his heart. And as I watch them, suddenly in my mind’s ey a vision comes to me of these old men young again, and strong, marching off to war in the full flush of their youth. I glance at Edward beside me and a chill runs through me to the very bone.

When the old soldiers (and one of two younger ones – presumably Vietnam vets) have all filed past we are asked to turn and face the flag behind. Someone from the crowd clicks on a tape recorder set up on the tray of a battered ute parked nearby and as the wind gusts around our ankles the achingly evocative notes of The Last Post ring out in the morning air, and by the time another old differ standing beside the flagpole has slowly and reverently lowered the flag, then raised it once more, I am quite unable to stop the flow of tears from coursing down my cheeks.

  Judge of the nations, spare us yet, Lest we forget, lest we forget!

From For Better, For Worse and For Lunch by Christina Hindhaugh.


April 25 in history

April 25, 2012

1214  King Louis IX of France was born (d. 1270).

1228 Conrad IV of Germany was born (d. 1254).

1284 King Edward II of England was born (d. 1327).

1599 Oliver Cromwell, English statesman, was born (d. 1658).

1607 Eighty Years’ War: The Dutch fleet destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.

1707 The Habsburg army was defeated by Bourbon army at Almansa in the War of the Spanish Succession.

1775 Charlotte of Spain, Spanish Infanta and queen of Portugal, was born (d. 1830).

1792  Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier became the first person executed by guillotine.

1792 – La Marseillaise was composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

1829 Charles Fremantle arrived in the HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom.

1846 Thornton Affair: Open conflict began over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.

1847 The last survivors of the Donner Party were out of the wilderness.

1849 The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, sigeds the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

1859 British and French engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal.

1861nAmerican Civil War: The Union Army arrived in Washington, D.C.

1862  American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut captured the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Marks’ Mills.

1873 Walter de la Mare, English poet, was born (d. 1956).

1898 Spanish-American War: The United States declared war on Spain.

1901 New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.

1905 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player was born (d. 1986).

George Nepia.jpg

1915 New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli.

NZ troops land at Gallipoli
The start of the Battle of Gallipoli – trrops from Australia, Britain and France were also part of the landings at  Anzac Cove and Cape Helles..
1916 Easter Rebellion: The United Kingdom declared martial law in Ireland.

1916 – Anzac Day was commemorated for the first time, on the first anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove.

1917 Ella Fitzgerald, American singer, was born (d. 1996).

1927 Albert Uderzo, French cartoonist, was born.

1929  Yvette Williams First New Zealander woman to win an Olympic gold medal, was born.

1932 Foundation of the Korean People’s Army of North Korea. “4.25″ appeared on the flags of the KPA Ground Force and the KPA Naval Force.

1932 William Roache, British television actor (Coronation Street), was born.

1938 U.S. Supreme Court delivereds opinion in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins and overturned a century of federal common law.

1939  DC Comics published its second major superhero in Detective Comics #27; – Batman.

1940  Al Pacino, American actor, was born.

1943 The Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket was instituted.

1944 The United Negro College Fund was incorporated.

1945 Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops met in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.

1945 – The Nazi occupation army surrendered and left Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolved and Mussolini tried to escape. This day is taken as symbolic of the Liberation of Italy.

1945 – Fifty nations gathered in San Francisco to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organisations.

1945 Last German troops retreated from Finland’s soil in Lapland, ending the Lapland War.

1948 Yu Shyi-kun, former Premier of Taiwan, was born.

1953 Francis Crick and James D. Watson published Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA.

1959  The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opened to shipping.

1961 Robert Noyce was granted a patent for an integrated circuit.

1966 The city of Tashkent was destroyed by a huge earthquake.

1972  Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive – The North Vietnamese 320th Division forced 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.

1974 Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal restored democracy after more than forty years as a corporate authoritarian state.

1975 As North Vietnamese forces closed in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy was closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

1976 Chicago Cubs’ outfielder, Rick Monday, rescued the American flag from two protestors who had run on to the field at Dodger Stadium. The two people covered the flag In lighter fluid but before the match was put to the flag, Monday, sprinted in and grabbed it away from them.

1981  More than 100 workers were exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga.

1982 Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula per the Camp David Accords.

1983 American schoolgirl Samantha Smith was invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.

1983 – Pioneer 10 traveled beyond Pluto’s orbit.

1986  Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II.

1988 In Israel, John Demjanuk was sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.

1990  The Hubble Telescope was deployed into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

2003 The Human Genome Project came to an end 2.5 years before first anticipated.

2005 The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.

2005 Bulgaria and Romania signed accession treaties to join the European Union.

2005 – 107 died in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan.

2007  Boris Yeltsin‘s funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.

2010: Flight Lieutenant Madsen,  Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson, were killed when the Iroquois they were in crashed on its way to a Wellington Anzac Day service.

2011 – At least 300 people were killed in deadliest tornado outbreak in the Southern United States since the 1974 Super Outbreak.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Wikipedia & Manawatu Standard


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