First thing on Friday morning, Huia 1 students were busy collecting donations from other students for poppies to wear. When we ran out of pins, we got extra from the sewing room in Poutama...and told Mrs Hansen later. Some of the boys organised cones to reserve parking spaces for our guests, and speakers practised their lines. Nikhil said he felt nervous because there were heaps of people. Jackie said, "I felt excited because I was meeting the RSA guests because I have never seen them before."
Keep the Home Fires Burning, Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag, and It's a Long Way to Tipparary. Following that, Jaime, Jasmine and Serena read the Message from Ataturk to the mothers of the fallen.
poem by John McRae.
The day of our ceremony was also the 70th anniversary of The Battle for Crete. We had all done projects on this and we learned that 671 New Zealanders died and 2180 soldiers were taken to be prisoners of war.Jakob, one of the speakers about Crete, said, "I found it scary because I thought I was going to muck up in front of the RSA people. After it was over I thought, it wasn't that bad."
President Graham spoke to the students and encouraged us to join the Manurewa R.S.A with our families, and told us all the entertainments and activities available there. He also told us that some of their members had been very young when they witnessed bomb tests in the Pacific and that there not many of these people left alive now.
A group from Huia 1 sang Abide with Me, then students placed wreaths on a special table.
Last Post was played as Prateek lowered the flag to half mast, and then The Ode for the Fallen was read by Tracey and Ishapreet. A minute's silence followed before Reveille was played and the flag was raised again.
We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and Maori Battalion. Our visitors and guests viewed our projects on the Battle for Crete before our RSA guests joined a group of teachers and students for morning tea in the board room.
Some comments about the day from our class:
- When they said, 'We are the dead...' it actually sounded as if they were the soldiers that fell. When the Last Post was played it felt very serious. Ricki-Jean
- The lead up to it, and the actual ceremony, really educated us on the Battle for Crete, becasue some of us didn't know it existed. Hunter
- It went really well. Nothing bad happened. Nikhil
- I really liked singing the songs. I was also in the choir singing Abide with Me, and I was outside in the doorway shaking the R.S.A's hands and giving out programmes. I brought a flag to put on the table. Bhaban
- It was quite scary when we sang Abide with Me because everyone was staring at us. Danny
- When the Last Post played, it was hard to think of anything else but what happened in the war, like, if you saw your best friend get shot. Jakob.
It was probably one of our best assemblies we have ever done. Everyone tried their best to make it well-organised and make it worth remembering. All those involved will be more confident in the future if they have to speak in front of the school and an audience again. There will now be a strong relationship between The Gardens School and the Manurewa R.S.A
Lest We Forget