Dawn services and parades across New Zealand and the Bay of Plenty will mark the 98th anniversary of New Zealand’s fallen soldiers during the battle of Gallipoli tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s services commemorate the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 where 18,000 New Zealanders and 60,000 Australians lost their lives.
Services will take place around the Bay tomorrow.
Although Anzac Day doesn’t celebrate a victory, it celebrates the tenacity, bravery and honour of all who fought whether they died or whether they were able to return home.
Services will be held across the Bay of Plenty including, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga and Te Puke and Katikati honouring all servicemen and women involved while shops are shut until 1pm tomorrow.
Mount Maunganui RSA president Paul Franks says it is pleasing to see the crowds continuing to grow each year as it is an important day for all New Zealanders with up to 130 veterans attending.
“I would expect there will be 4,000 plus which is the same as last year. They seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year providing the weather is kind to us.
“It’s really gaining momentum.”
This year will be special as it is the last time there will be a firing party due to the restructuring of the Hauraki Battalion.
Tauranga RSA general manager Graham Howard says they are also gearing up for a big crowd at the dawn service, held at the Tauranga RSA Cenotaph, with more than 2000 expected.
“We are expecting quite a few veterans who will be marching past with the scouts.”
The dawn service is followed by a civic service at 9am at Memorial Park and a service at Pyes Pa Cemetery at 10am.
The Anzac celebrations will continue into the weekend with Katikati Heritage Museum holding re-enactment battles, involving members of the MOTAT Re-enactment Society supported by military vehicles owned by Katikati brothers Nic and Chris Flegg and friends.
The re-enactments will start at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday along with an Anzac cake/biscuit bake off at 10am with judging at 11am on Sunday.
Mount Maunganui Dawn Parade - Mount Maunganui Cenotaph
5.45am: Assemble at Mount Drury Reserve
5.55am: March off
Memorial Service - Mount Maunganui Cenotaph
9.15am: Assemble at Mount Drury Reserve
9.25am: March off
In the event of bad weather the memorial service will be held at the Mount RSA clubrooms.
Tauranga Dawn Parade - Tauranga RSA Cenotaph
5.45am: Assemble on Hayes Avenue
5.55am: March off
Memorial Service - Tauranga Memorial Park
8.30am: Assemble at Memorial Park
8.45am: March commences
In the event of bad weather the service will be held in the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.
10.30am: The public are invited to attend a remembrance service at Pyes Pa Cemetery.
Memorial Service – Te Puke Memorial Hall
10.10am: Assemble opposite KiwiBank before
Memorial Service – Katikati RSA (corner of State Highway 2 and Henry Road)
5.45am: Assemble at Katikati RSA
10am: March through the main street to Katikati Hall. Assemble at Uretara Domain.