Rangi Ruru Girls' School students to lay wreath at London ANZAC Dawn Ceremony
Four Rangi Ruru students, who are in London with 12 others as part of a hockey development tour, will be part of the ANZAC dawn celebrations in London tomorrow (April 25th).
Principal Dr Sandra Hastie, who is with the girls, says she and Year 13 students Abby Lennon, Aimee Hayward, Claudia Reid and Lucy Simpson will lay a wreath at the New Zealand War Memorial in Hyde Park.
“As one of the oldest girls’ school in New Zealand we are honoured to be able to commemorate ANZAC day by laying a wreath in memory of those who have fallen but who laid the path for our current generation,” says Dr Hastie.
“We honour all those who have died in war and particularly in this the 125th year since women gained the vote in New Zealand, we must acknowledge the important role our women played and play in a war effort,” she says.
Dr Hastie says women are often acknowledged in the work they did at home when men went to war. However, she says women’s contribution outside that has not really been recognised. “Overseas there were women as medical personnel – doctors and nurses as one would expect but there were many others. As New Zealand author Jane Tolerton outlines in her book about NZ women in the war, 'Make Her Praises Heard Afar', there were so many others – hospital directors, ambulance drivers, munition workers, scientists, musicians, spies and even a dancer at Folies-Bergere. Around 550 nurses travelled overseas, many at their own expense.”
The group have been invited to present their blue and gold wreath, the school colours, at the end of the official ceremony.
VIPs at the ceremony will include HRH Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle: Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, the Right Honourable Trevor Mallard; HE Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, High Commissioner for New Zealand; and HE Hon Alexander Downer, High Commissioner for Australia.
Lucy Simpson, one of the four students who will present the wreath