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Anzac Day for Kaiapoi High School

Kaiapoi High School is heavily involved with the Anzac Day commemorations but this year with no ceremonies allowed due to the Covid-19 lockdown their voices weren't going to be heard...

In a letter to parents and caregivers, Principal Bruce Kearney this week reflected on the strong association that Kaiapoi RSA has enjoyed with the school over the years.

An association that is illustrated by the fact that Year 13 student, Leyton Wright, holds the distinction of being the first student in New Zealand to be a member of the RSA executive.

This year Leyton is Head Boy and along with Head Girl, Emma Blackwell, they were planning to deliver speeches at Kaiapoi’s Anzac Day service.

As the unusual and unique circumstances caused by the pandemic play out, Mr Kearney’s words of thanks are sentiments that we in the community widely share.

“I cannot think of a better time to commemorate the sacrifices that New Zealanders made on behalf of our great country, many who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“In a sense we see once again a group of New Zealand people putting themselves in a position of risk to protect the lives of the wider community. The Police, doctors and nurses, fire service,

supermarket workers and all other essential workers that put on their uniform (PPE) and brave the world that we are in to ensure that we all can be safe and well looked after.

“We thank you. We admire you. We would be lost without you.”

Leyton’s speech too reflects on the current situation comparing it with the work done after the 1918 flu epidemic.

“Many nurses and doctors, who had already worked tirelessly through the war, had to continue treating patients with influenza, with many contracting it themselves.

“As they all made sacrifices, we can all make a small sacrifice to keep to our family unit and to keep in isolation until it is no longer required. Although we are in the middle of lockdown and isolation, we can still honour ANZAC Day, and all the people and sacrifices this day represents, even without the usual parades.”

Emma’s speech looked at the lessons to be learnt from history.

“Taking on board these lessons from the past is integral as history has an uncanny way of repeating itself. The more we learn from our past the more we can better our future and remembrance is a key part in this process.

“Now more than ever during this current pandemic it is important that we take the time this ANZAC day to remember and reflect on those who fought at Gallipoli and use it to revitalise our own strength and courage, helping us through these uncertain times.

What they are saying...