Spirits undampened at centenary event

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, left, Otago Southland RSA president Jenepher Glover and Clutha...
Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, left, Otago Southland RSA president Jenepher Glover and Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan take part in the parade yesterday. PHOTOS: HAMISH MACLEAN
Catlins Canter joined  the  parade to begin 2015 The Anzac Connection in Balclutha yesterday.
Catlins Canter joined the parade to begin 2015 The Anzac Connection in Balclutha yesterday.
South Otago A&P Show 2014 show queen Georgia Scott, left, is joined by Ella McCarthy (7) for a...
South Otago A&P Show 2014 show queen Georgia Scott, left, is joined by Ella McCarthy (7) for a ride from Bruce McLachlan and his 27-year-old Shetland pony Lucky in the parade.

It rained on the parade to begin 2015 The Anzac Connection in Balclutha, but Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay said it did not dampen the spirits.

''You get used to the rain when you live down south,'' he said. Mr Barclay opened yesterday's afternoon of entertainment.

The parade of 220 through the town started the World War 1 centenary event at the Cross Recreation Centre, which Mr Barclay said he found to have a different, lighter spirit than Anzac Day services on Saturday.

''[Saturday] was quite formal and traditional. The good thing about this event today is it's much more community-oriented and a celebration.''

The Clutha District Council community support and development adviser who organised the event, Jean Proctor, was thrilled with the turnout and the atmosphere in Balclutha.

Pikelets with jam and cream were passed out by Dunedin City Cadets and members of the 2/4 Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment manned the grills at a sausage sizzle, as vintage planes flew over the crowd outside the recreation centre.

An afternoon of war era entertainment, from Phoenix Singers, Clutha Dance, Balclutha Primary School Choir, Colleen Hosking, Balmoral Dance Group, Ross Agnew and a 15-minute play written for the occasion presented by Clutha Youth Drama, cheered a crowd of 300 people from across the district.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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