INDEPENDENT NEWS

Ex-Pats Soak Up Patriotic Glow Of NZ Memorial

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2006 01:25 AM
Ex-Pats Soak Up Patriotic Glow Of NZ Memorial


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Potentially Don Brash's worst nightmare a giant Helen Clark giving a speech at the New Zealand Memorial unveiling. The Prime Minister's image is underneath a statue of the Warrior Queen Boadecia – Dr Brash was also in attendance.
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The unveiling of the New Zealand Memorial in London's Hyde Park provided the chance for Kiwi ex-pats to wander along and show their respects to the veterans that had made the trip over and, also to pay their respects to those that have fallen in battle. Scoop decided to forgo the comfort of a plastic chair in the media enclosure and soaked up the atmosphere with the ex-pat community. Considering the weather was potentially worse than Wellington on a really rubbish day the turnout for the NZ Memorial was excellent with about 1500 hardy patriotic Kiwi's on hand to gaze at the large screen tellys erected on Wellington's Arch.
The ghosts of past conflicts (in this case Napoleonic) keep a vigil over the New Zealand Memorial
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The NZ Maori Cultural group perform a haka in front of the New Zealand Memorial - image by Rachel Main NZ Defence Force
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Most ex-pats Scoop talked pointed out that their reason for coming was to share their pride in being a Kiwi and the opening of the NZ Memorial was certainly a five star affair - as well as The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair , The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince William, Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall (AKA Camilla Parker Bowles) were in attendance to pay their respects.
Besides 95% of the Roal Family and Tony and Cherie Blair a number of the UK's top military brass were also in attendance including Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, the First Sea Lord, UK and General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of Staff British Army. Also in attendance was Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, Chief of Air Staff , RAF.
As one former Wellingtonian pointed out the above list of names did make the event an excellent target for as Tony Blair would say 'those who would seek to destroy our way of life'. Thankfully the only hitch in the entire event came about when the NZ Defence Force Chaplain's microphone cut out during a crucial point.
The event was soon back on track thanks to Dave Dobbyn belting out a song inspired partly by the case of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui, Hayley Westenra's performance of God Defend NZ and a rousing Haka from the New Zealand Maori cultural group.
With dusk falling at around Four O'Clock the 1500 expats – some a tad tear streaked - departed in search of warm beer and pubs playing the All Black Vs France test in an effort to keep the patriotism flowing


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Former Wellingtonians Jacinda and Chris – the NZ Memorial ceremony seemed to have left them in excellent spirits
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Terence - here to pay his respect to soldiers that have died in past wars
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A patriotic and cold Kiwi – The NZ memorial was 'striking' from what he could see of it – in the spirit of Anzac though this diplomatic chap pointed out that the nearby Aussie memorial was actually 'quite beautiful as well'
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Judy and Martin - here to see the Queen – oh and of course here to see the Kiwi memorial cos they'd turned up and seen the Aussie one last Anzac Day
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Security Was Tighter Than A Tight Rope Pulled Tightly
The Queen's motor was unlikely to have its wheels nicked with these lads on the job
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Above and below – Police spotter and sniper teams were positioned on all the surrounding buildings
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ENDS

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