An elderly war veteran was caught by fast-acting bystanders when he collapsed during an Anzac Day dawn service - and turned up to the local RSA a few hours later for breakfast and a rum.
The 82-year-old Alex Deans was standing in formation with seven other old soldiers during the bitterly cold and damp ceremony in Mataura in Southland when he suddenly lost consciousness and fell to the ground.
War veteran Alex Deans turned up at the local RSA a few hours after collapsing during an Anzac Day dawn service. Photo / Supplied
War veteran Alex Deans turned up at the local RSA a few hours after collapsing during an Anzac Day dawn service. Photo / Supplied Image 1 of 15: Veterans marching to the Soundshell for the Anzac Dawn service, Soundshell, Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland Image 2 of 15: Veterans and family attend the dawn service at the Auckland Museum. Photo / Getty Images Image 3 of 15: Members of the public lay poppies on the cenotaph after the the dawn service On Anzac day at the Auckland domain. Photo / Nick Reed Image 4 of 15: Thousands gathered at Wellington's Pukehau National War Memorial for the ANZAC Dawn Service. Image 5 of 15: Wanganui Anzac Dawn Service. Photo / Stuart Munro Image 6 of 15: Members of the Albert Battery shoot a volley of fire during the Currumbin RSL dawn service. Photo / Getty Images Image 7 of 15: The City of Auckland Pipe band attend the dawn service at the Auckland Museum on April 25, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. In 1916 the first Anzac Day commemorations were held on 25 April. It's been 10 Image 8 of 15: Members of the New Zealand Army attend the dawn service at the Auckland Museum. Photo / Getty Images Image 9 of 15: Crowds watch on during the Currumbin RSL dawn service in Gold Coast, Australia. Photo / Getty Images Image 10 of 15: An Australian soldier salutes during a dawn service to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in Sydney. Photo / Getty Images Image 11 of 15: ANZAC Dawn Service at the Tauranga RSA Greerton. Photo / Andrew Warner Image 12 of 15: Veterans marching to the Soundshell for the Anzac Dawn service, Soundshell, Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland Image 13 of 15: Wreath laying, Anzac Day service, Havelock North Cenotaph. Photo / Warren Buckland Image 14 of 15: Anzac Day civic service in Rotorua. Photo / Ben Fraser Image 15 of 15: NZ soldier lays flower on Martyrs' cemeteries during a ceremony marking the 101st anniversary of the Canakkale Battles at the 57th Infantry Regiment Memorial in Turkey. Photo / Getty Images
Image 1 of 15: Veterans marching to the Soundshell for the Anzac Dawn service, Soundshell, Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland
"He just came back in and he was good as," she said.
"He was even joking about it."
He ate lamb chops and hash browns for breakfast and a special Anzac Day rum and coffee brew.
Daughter Kaye Beattie told the
Herald it appeared the harsh elements took their toll today.
"It was just cold and because they took their hats off and he's bald and standing for such a long time he just collapsed," she said.
After a a number of medical tests he had been given the all clear and returned to Mataura for his Anzac tipple and cooked breakfast.
"He seemed to be fine. His brother picked him up, he had his special coffee and he seems to be ready for battle again."
This afternoon back at his home in Gore, Mr Deans said he remembered feeling "wobbly" before passing out.
"It was pretty cold this morning.
"The trumpet had been playing and everything was good and then I just fainted."
That's when they all rushed in and helped me."
He said after he was given a thorough medical check-up at Gore Hospital he insisted on heading back to the RSA determined to not let a fainting spell stop him from standing alongside his mates.
"My brother came and picked me up and I thought I would call in to tell them everything was okay," Mr Deans said.
He enjoyed a cuppa and food and recounting one of the town's more eventful ceremonies in recent years.