British diplomat visits Oamaru

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Deputy British High Commissioner Patrick Reilly visited Oamaru yesterday to take part in Waitaki Boys’ High School and St Kevin’s College’s Anzac Day services.

Mr Reilly said it was good to see the Anzac Day spirit alive and well in Oamaru with the town’s students.

It was good to get out of Wellington and Auckland and see other parts of New Zealand and the “fantastic” Anzac Day services they had to offer, Mr Reilly said.

The Waitaki Boys’ High School service was fantastic and the St Kevin’s service left him feeling “very impressed”, he said.

“I’m glad I was able to do both in the same day.

“I was very moved,” he said.

Mr Reilly spoke at both services about Anzac Day and its meaning to him.

Mr Reilly also spoke of how the sacrifices of past generations gave us our lives today.

“Our way of life isn’t something that just happens, like the weather.”

Our lives were defended and created by the actions of men and women like us, Mr Reilly said in his speech.

At the end of his address, Mr Reilly asked the crowds “what would be your contribution to the society that others died to defend?”

Alongside Mr Reilly’s attendance, both schools had a replica 1914 World War One ambulance on display.

Waitaki Boys’ High School held their service first yesterday.

Starting at 11.30am, students, staff and guests were piped into the school’s hall of memories.

After the national anthem and a poem, rector Paul Jackson addressed the audience.

“Today we remember and give thanks for the service of hundreds of Waitakians whose names adorn these walls,” Mr Jackson said in his address.

After more readings and hymns, students, staff and guests placed their poppies on the school quad.

The St Kevin’s College service commenced at 1pm.

After a brief service in the school’s chapel, a roll call of serviceman was held.

The national anthem, recitals and more then took place, before those in attendance moved to the school’s memorial grotto.

A firing party, minutes’ silence, flag raising and more completed the service.

St Kevin’s College principal Paul Olsen said it was “a poignant service marking the day”.

The students were taking on the Anzac Day message and embracing it, which was great to see, Mr Olsen said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN

PHOTO: DAVID DE LOREAN

PHOTO: Waitaki Boys’ High School rector Paul Jackson (left) shows Deputy British High Commissioner Patrick Reilly around the school’s hall of memories before their Anzac Day service yesterday.