THE WINNERS ARE IN … and huge thanks go to our independent judges!

Thank you Matamata!!!!!!

What a very special, yet different, ANZAC day. 2020 will certainly be go down in history.

Let me, at the outset, say that, having been born in Northern Rhodesia and schooled in South Africa, I have seen tragedy first-hand as well as learning of Africa’s oft-times cruel and bloody history.

I’ve never been one to “remember” wars, for they always brought about emotions of sadness and much anger.

When I married a Kiwi and started my life in NZ many years ago now, I still scoffed at the idea of getting out of a warm bed on a cold winter’s morning and heading to a dawn parade. “Why”, I asked … “What’s the point?”

I didn’t understand the ANZAC spirit.

Moving to Matamata some two and a half years ago, I was introduced to the RSA culture and soon learned more about this “spirit”. I’ve learned that the RSA, while grounded in the support and welfare of New Zealand’s veterans and serving members, also enjoys a culture of caring for the community, the townsfolk and its members as a whole, whether service men and women or not!

I soon became involved on the Committee at the Matamata RSA as my way of saying “thank you” to a town and club that has been more than welcoming since our arrival here. Not long ago, I put up my hand to become the Manager/Secretary of the Club, a role that I have grown to love and cherish.

It is in this latter role that I, hand on heart, thank each and every one of you who dedicated time to your ANZAC decorations this year – a tradition I truly hope we continue to uphold in Matamata, long after COVID has been vanquished from our shores.

I also thank those who bravely faced the cold and stood at dawn on their doorsteps, at their windows, at the front gate and in parking lots and streets throughout the town this morning.

The quality and creativity of entries, the stories behind their creation, and the lessons taught to our younger generation are incredible. You have certainly done yourselves and Matamata proud!

This morning, as a thick Waikato fog lay its blanket over the town in a manner that was almost protective, and bugles played “The Last Post” solemnly over the still dawn, I reflected long and hard … and I’ve realised that ANZAC day is truly a day worth passing on to generations to come. Not only in remembrance of the lives lost, but for what it teaches us today about selflessness and sacrifice.

It’s all the more poignant in 2020 as we, as a nation, stand at war against Covid. We are all soldiers in this fight.

The call this year was to “Stand At Dawn” …
To the folk of Matamata, I say “Stand Tall”



***Junior (12 + under) : BREE PALING wins 2 x kid’s meal vouchers for use at the RSA
***Teen (13-18) – RYAN DONDERWINKEL wins 2 x free burger and chips vouchers for use at the RSA
Adult (dads and mums etc) – CALLUM PASSEY wins 2 x free burger, chips & beer vouchers for use at the RSA

SPECIAL AWARD: Bevan Coulter for his inspiration of the youth in getting in on this! – 2 x free burger, chips & beer vouchers for use at the RSA

Can the winners please contact Gayle ([email protected]) to claim your vouchers

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