Promise kept with Armistice Day outing

The Armistice Day service in Queens Gardens yesterday morning held special significance for retired staff sergeant Charlie Boyes (79), of Dunedin.

The former chief cook for the 4th Otago Southland Battalion stood shoulder to shoulder with his 13-year-old great-grandson Dartanyon Richards, keeping a promise to the boy after Covid-19 dashed their Anzac Day plans earlier this year.

As traffic buzzed past the cenotaph in Dunedin’s city centre yesterday, the British Empire Medal recipient said he hoped more would have stopped to observe a moment’s silence.

Dartanyon Richards and his great-grandfather, former 4th Battalion member Charlie Boyes, both of...
Dartanyon Richards and his great-grandfather, former 4th Battalion member Charlie Boyes, both of Dunedin, at yesterday’s Armistice Day ceremony at Queens Gardens. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN

The day should be front of mind at schools, businesses and throughout the city, he said.

He feared his great-grandson’s generation could lose touch with the sacrifice made more than a century ago.

A reverent crowd of about 200 stood in Queens Gardens as a 25-pounder field gun fired twice at 11am to mark the start of two minutes’ silence.

Smoke from a QF 25-pounder field gun obscures the elms at Queens Gardens after the howitzer was...
Smoke from a QF 25-pounder field gun obscures the elms at Queens Gardens after the howitzer was fired to commemorate Armistice Day in Dunedin yesterday morning. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN

As the smoke cleared, Padre Aaron Knotts began the service to mark the end of fighting in World War 1 and the signing of the armistice between Germany and the Allies on November 11, 1918.

Maddison Russell (8 months) and her mother Samantha Russell soak up the scene at Queens Gardens...
Maddison Russell (8 months) and her mother Samantha Russell soak up the scene at Queens Gardens in Dunedin during the Armistice Day service yesterday morning. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON

Retired New Zealand Army colonel Roger McElwain said ceremonies such as yesterday’s should serve to remind people today of the horrors and tragedy of war, and that the human cost of conflict was to be avoided at all cost.

"It is appropriate to say here, ‘Lest we forget’," he said.

Several dignitaries laid wreaths at the base of the cenotaph.

Bugler Ralph Miller played the Last Post and the service ended with the singing of the New Zealand national anthem.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

 

drivesouth-pow-classic-2.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter