Skip to main content

Local History

Anzac Day mishap put right

Last year just before the Anzac Dawn Parade commenced in Whitianga, the young soldier standing to attention as the flag bearer was suddenly relieved of his flag. He had no time to protest and as a trained soldier, he felt it inappropriate to do so at that time.
 |  The Informer  | 

Johnathon had concluded his active service some years prior and had returned to be with his family for the Anzac service. To be asked to carry one of the flags at the head of the parade on Anzac Day was a great honour.  The memories of what he experienced in war have not left him, but neither has his pride in serving his country and his love for New Zealand dimmed in any way.

It was a mistake that the flag was taken from him and the ‘why’ was never resolved – a misunderstanding, no doubt.  The RSA members who organised the parade were embarrassed and upset that this occurred.

Fast forward to 2024, and it was intended that on this Anzac Day, the soldier would carry the flag for Whitianga’s parade. However, at the invitation of Veteran Affairs NZ, he has assisted with a training course in East Timor prior to Anzac Day and had the honour of laying a wreath for the soldiers who lost their lives in East Timor during the recent conflict. Our soldier served as Lance Corporal, Machine Gunner in the First Infantry in East Timor and sadly, lost a good friend in the fighting there. It was very fitting for him to accept this duty on behalf of his country and he was accompanied by his Mother, Diane Morreel.

The Informer had received enquiries as to what had been done since the last Anzac Day and this is our report after speaking with the President of the local RSA, Linda Fraser and Johnathan’s fiancee.