A return to tradition for Anzac Day

Tauranga RSA president Fred Milligan. Photo: John Borren.

This year, as the sun rises over Tauranga on Anzac Day, thousands of people will gather again and 'The Last Post' will ring out to remember those we lost and honour all who served.

Last year’s lack of Anzac Day services will seem like a distant memory rather than a halt in a century long tradition.

Anzac services in 2020 were cancelled because of the Level 4 lockdown that occurred from Covid-19 reaching our shores. Instead of meeting en masse people were encouraged to Stand At Dawn at their letterboxes or in their home to observe the day.

Veterans and RSA members from across the city are looking forward to resuming tradition on Sunday.

Mount Maunganui RSA support manager Peter Moss says it’s amazing to be able to hold services this year but last year was amazing in its own way.

“I think a lot of people enjoyed standing at their letter boxes, I know I did. I think it was a special way and made it a really special day last year, but it's better this year that we can get together and commemorate what was an incredibly awful event.”

Tauranga RSA president Fred Milligan says there is no doubt that people are glad services are going ahead but he is unsure what the turn out will be, with some people, especially elderly, still cautious of large gatherings.

He hasn’t heard of any veterans not wanting to attend services but says over the last 12 months some members have “gone to ground”.

Normally around 1500 people attend the Tauranga dawn service and Fred says it’s a best guess how big this year’s crowd will be.

Peter says some people might be wary to attend the Mount Maunganui dawn service but it normally attracts a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 and he thinks it’ll be pretty busy.

“Being able to watch the fly over, the planes coming from out at sea and seeing the lights and the whole event on the cusp of dawn is pretty amazing, there's really nothing quite like it.”

He knows the usual veterans including those from WWII will attend the Mount services.

Both Fred and Peter are pleased younger generations are getting involved in the services and are aware of the history.

Students from Tauranga Boys’ and Tauranga Girls’ College, Mount Maunganui College and Papamoa College will speak at their respective services.
“The younger generations are taking it all on board and I think that's great, because that's where the strength is going to come from in the future,” says Fred.

Peter says Anzac Day at the RSA is a great opportunity to catch up with people, especially the WWII veterans, who they don’t see a lot of during the year.

“On Anzac day, it's just an amazing atmosphere when they come back and have breakfast and get together as old comrades. It's nice to see all the uniforms around too.”

Tauranga Anzac Services

Tauranga Dawn Service

5.45am to 7am, Tauranga RSA Cenotaph, 1237 Cameron Road

Dawn parade timetable

  •   •  5.45am – assemble at Hayes Avenue

  •   •  5.55am – march off

  •   •  6am – service begins

Mount Maunganui Dawn Service

5.45am to 7am, Mount Maunganui Cenotaph, Marine Parade (opposite Mount Drury)

Dawn parade timetable

  •   •  5.45am – assemble at Mount Drury

  •   •  5.55am – march off

  •   •  6am – service begins

Anzac Commemorations Tutereinga Marae

5.30am, Tutereinga Marae, 89 Tanhitu Rd, Te Puna
Parade assemble outside the Marae entrance at 5.30am.

Tauranga Civic Memorial Service

8.45am to 10.30am, Tauranga Memorial Park, Eleventh Avenue

Tauranga Civic Memorial Service parade timetable:

  •   •  8.45am – assemble on the grass beside Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre

  •   •  8.55am – march off

  •   • – service begins

Mount Maunganui Civic Memorial Service

9.15am – 10.30am at Mount Maunganui Cenotaph, Marine Parade (opposite Mount Drury)

Mount Maunganui Civic Memorial Parade timetable:

  •   •  9.15am – assemble at Mt Drury

  •   •  9.25am – march off

  •   •  9.30am – service begins

Papamoa Civic Memorial Service

11.45am to 1pm, Papamoa Memorial, Stella Place beach car park, Papamoa Beach Road

Papamoa Civic Memorial Parade timetable:

  •   •  11.45am: Assemble on the grass down from Papamoa cenotaph – near Papamoa Pony Club

  •   •  11.55am: March off

  •   •  12pm: Service begins

Pyes Pa Remembrance Service

11am at Pyes Pa Cemetery, 403 Pyes Pa Road

The Lion and Tusk Museum Service

Museum open from 10am, 14 Portside Drive, Mount Maunganui

  •   •  12:45pm: March to the museum

  •   •  Service begins once marchers arrive

Western Bay of Plenty Anzac services

Waihi Beach Dawn Service – 5.45am to 6:30am, Waihi Beach RSA, 99 Beach Road, Waihi

Dawn service timetable

  •   •  5.45am – fall in parade

  •   •  6am – service begins

Waihi Beach Civic Service

  •   •  Waihi Beach RSA, 99 Beach Road

  •   •  9:30am start

Omokoroa Dawn Service

  •   •  Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve, 5 Gellibrand Place, Omokoroa

  •   •  6am start at the Memorial Cairn

Katikati Dawn Service – 5.45am to 7am, Katikati War Memorial Hall, Main Road, Katikati

Dawn service timetable

  •   •  5.45am – assemble at the Talisman Hotel

  •   •  5.55am – march to Katikati War Memorial Hall 

  •   •  6am – service begins

Road closures, and a detour, will be in place from Talisman Hotel to the Katikati War Memorial Hall between 5am-7am. 

Te Puke Civic Service – Te Puke War Memorial Hall, 130 Jellicoe Street, Te Puke

  •   •  March to War Memorial Hall at 9.50am

  •   •  10am start

Maketu Dawn Service – in front of Anzac rock, Beach Road, Maketu 

  •   •  5.45am – assemble at the Beach Road carpark

  •   •  5.55am – march to Anzac rock 

  •   •  6am – service begins

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