On Tuesday 8th May the Heaton community came together for our annual ANZAC commemoration assembly.
This was an opportunity for us to honour Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women, who have served and continue to serve our country during times of conflict, past and present. Our head boy Will, Room 19 and Alisha, Room 3 led us very ably during this tribute.
Wing Commander Brett Marshall, Deputy Director of the Airforce Museum was our guest speaker. As a Heaton past pupil and uncle of Sienna, Room 17, it was especially meaningful to have him share his wisdom. He reminded us of the importance of integrity and bravery making it clear that these qualities aren’t just reserved for servicemen and women. We too can practice these character traits in our everyday lives.
Supporting these messages, we were honoured to have a rousing and highly skilled performance from Georgia, Room 14 playing the snare drums and her dad, Nick Eagle on the bagpipes. It was special to see both father and daughter sharing their talent together.
Further performances were enjoyed with the kapa haka, a strong group of nearly 100 students performing Tiaho Ma Rā and the chorale, singing ‘In Memoriam’ by Vic McDonald. These songs honour men and women who fought and died in WW1. A dance troop of Year 7 and Year 8 girls, beautifully choreographed ‘The War Dance’. This performance communicated the impact of war on families.
We were pleased to support the Papanui RSA’s fundraising focus this year, which was ‘Not all wounds bleed’. This brings attention to mental health and fitness-related needs of veterans, and recent veterans, in particular. Issues associated with return from deployment, Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI), mental health issues and transition to civilian life can have a significant impact on veterans – including those men and women currently serving – as well as their families.
Thank you for your donations, to all those who contributed to the assembly and to the parents and whānau who attended.
By Sarah Cumming