A day of remembrance

Riverton RSA president Paddy Lewis says Anzac Day means something to many in the district. Photo: Dean Bloomfield

ANZAC Day is not about glorifying war, but remembering and learning from mistakes of the past, one Southland RSA president says.

Riverton RSA president Paddy Lewis said there were lots of people in the district to whom the day meant a lot.

“Whether it be because of family ties, or their patriotism… it really is one of those days when you see people that you never normally see at other times.

“One, so we don’t make the same mistakes, and two, that we commemorate… imagine if someone said to you, your stuff, you’re heading across to the other side of the world to fight someone you’ve never heard of’.”

War was glorified through Hollywood, but the sheer horror of conflict was realised by defence forces both in the past and now, Mr Lewis said.

Anzac Day and the services held were, therefore, a community day of remembrance.

Fiordland RSA secretary Barry Campbell held a similar view in that it was important to remember the sacrifice people had made.

“If we don’t remember that, we will make the same mistakes again,” he said.

They were fortunate in Te Anau there were plenty of younger people getting involved.

“I think it’s a bit of a common trend across the whole country.

“There was a real good crowd of young people.”

Mr Campbell had been a member of the Fiordland RSA since its inception about 20 years ago.

After three years, this would be Mr Campbell’s final term as secretary.

“It was probably more work than I anticipated.

“It’s been very satisfying. It’s quite a strong club up here.”