A simple but moving service at the war memorial at the Dannevirke Domain marked the 101st celebration of Armistice Day yesterday.

Heavy rain fell before the ceremony but eased off while the ceremony took place.

Armistice Day service organiser and Wairarapa Hawke's Bay East Coast District RSA president Paddy Driver led the service and extended a welcome to all.

Steve Wallace plays The Last Post at yesterday's Armistice Day celebration.
Steve Wallace plays The Last Post at yesterday's Armistice Day celebration.

He thanked those who attended despite the unpleasant weather but said it was nothing compared to the conditions those who fought in the trenches in World War I had to endure.

Advertisement

"Armistice Day signifies the coming of peace on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, thus ending the First World War."

Driver said the ceremony was about remembrance.

"Today we not only remember those who were sacrificed during the First World War,
but also those who have died whilst serving their country in subsequent wars.

"Today we also remember our family members who returned damaged from various wars and have had to silently live with their wounds, both physical and mental.

Driver said most World War II veterans had gone, but he extended a special welcome to Dannevirke's sole surviving veteran Ivan (Bonnie) Bodley.

Dannevirke's sole surviving World War II veteran Ivan (Bonnie) Bodley sits with Dannevirke RSA past president Ralph Adrian and RSA committee member Bill Ingram at the service.
Dannevirke's sole surviving World War II veteran Ivan (Bonnie) Bodley sits with Dannevirke RSA past president Ralph Adrian and RSA committee member Bill Ingram at the service.

"Even our Koreans veterans are ailing. Today I would like to honour our RSA patron Tom Collier, a Korean veteran who today is very ill in Rahiri resthome.

"Tom would love to have been here and sends his best wishes to everyone.

"Today our thoughts go out to the many Army, Navy and Air Force personnel who are currently serving in many operational missions throughout the world.

Advertisement

"It has often been said that the RSA would fold as there are no more veterans coming through since the Vietnam War. This is not true as we have over 31,000 New Zealand veterans from Bosnia, Timor, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and many other conflicts. Some of those veterans have served multiple tours of duty.

"Today we honour them particularly those young men and women who were killed in action during those conflicts.

"We thank them for their service."

Totara College students Logan Strydom, Year 11, and school leader Malachi Dean, Year 13, are about to lay a wreath.
Totara College students Logan Strydom, Year 11, and school leader Malachi Dean, Year 13, are about to lay a wreath.

Wreaths were laid by Tararua mayor Tracey Collis, the men's and women's sections of Dannevirke RSA, Dannevirke Community Board members Ross Macdonald and Pat Walshe, Totara College, St Joseph's and Huia Range schools.