by Helen Martin
Armistice Day was especially poignant in Helensville this year as, with the Anzac Day parade cancelled because of Covid, it was the first opportunity in 2020 for Kaipara Memorial RSA to hold a public commemoration event to honour those who served their country.
While there’s some controversy over the precise time shelling actually ceased at the end of World War 1, Armistice Day is commemorated every year at 11am on 11 November, the 11th month. The ceremony marks the signing of an armistice between the Allies of World War 1 and Germany at Compiègne, France for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.This year’s anniversary was the 102nd.
RSA resident Les Coste spoke of the sacrifices made and, as she does at Anzac Day services, Reverend Verna Healy reminded attendees of the importance of protecting the peace, stability, freedom and safeguarding the interests of our country to all service
personnel. She and Retts Van Dam sang a beautiful version of the national anthem, Cedric McLeod played the pipes and wreaths were laid before The Last Post was played.
It was a small gathering, and those going about their business in Commercial Road while the ceremony progressed may have wondered what it was about – perhaps next year they’ll join in and find out.