Anzac commemorations in the Wakatipu began with the second
consecutive dawn service at the Queenstown Memorial Gates -
where people stood to remember the fallen and those who
returned from wars.
• Queenstown Anzac
Day slideshow here
Later, the gates were again a gathering place and the
starting point for the annual parade to the Queenstown
Once the crowd of hundreds was seated, the resort's Returned
and Services' Association (RSA) president Dave Geddes thanked
the ''large contingent'' of the Australian Defence Force who
were present beside New Zealand service representatives.
The horror of the World War 1 was recounted, with Mr Geddes
saying few of the early war volunteers could have rightly
imagined what was ''really in store for them when they
reached that battlefield''.
But, ''the volunteers still queued to serve their King and
Guest speaker Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden told
the crowd that throughout life we learn lessons, ''but the
vast majority of us'' would never learn what it is ''to look
terror in the face'' as the Anzacs did.
She paid tribute to the soldiers - ''every one of them a
hero'' - who had ''allowed us the luxury of living as we
Towards the end of the service, Queenstown musician Craig
Smith sat half hidden in the darkness with white crosses and
red poppies at his feet, to delicately perform a poignant
song he had written specially for the occasion.
After the Australian and New Zealand national anthems were
sung, the service briefly shifted outdoors where the flag was
lowered, then raised, and various organisations placed
wreaths under the permanent stainless steel artwork of a
soldier looking over a fellow soldier's grave.
Villagers and visitors politely jostled to squeeze into the
Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall for the Arrowtown Anzac Day Memorial
Service, despite the ancillary supper room being opened to
allow more seats.
Arrowtown RSA president John Lindsay welcomed all to the
service and the Rev Ian Guy presided.
Arrowtown School pupils Natty Raymond and Bella Gill read
extracts from the oral history archives of the Lakes District
Members of the Arrowtown School Choir led the gathering in
singing Hymn for Anzac Day and the national anthem.
Queenstown lawyer Graeme Todd, as guest speaker, described
the personal connections he had over the years with World War
1, specifically his research into the war service of his
grandfather, Ernest Morris, who died when the lawyer was 4.
Mr Todd told the congregation how he pieced together his
grandfather's training in England and his deployment at the
During a family holiday to Europe, Mr Todd retraced the steps
of his grandfather to Ypres, scene of three battles in World
War 1, and described what he saw and felt at the Menin Gate