A large crowd attended the annual service at the rotunda on Church Hill on a crisp Anzac Day morning.
Warkworth RSA president Bob Harrison told a story about New Zealand’s opposition to the testing of nuclear weapons by French military on Moruroa atoll in 1966.
He said the HMSNZ Canterbury and Otago frigates were sent in protest and, as a result, the French ultimately stopped atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in the Pacific.
However, New Zealand sailors who were present and witnessed the detonation of nuclear bombs continued to experience complications from the radioactivity they were exposed to. Bob reminded the crowd that ‘not all wounds bleed’ and that the RSA relied on the public for its work supporting returned servicemen.
Mahurangi College head girl Jane Wilcock regaled the crowd with a story about her great grandfather, Colin, who liberated a French winery in World War II. He escaped death because after a night of drinking he was in the toilet block when his camp was shelled.
After the speeches, dignitaries and members of the public laid wreaths at the war memorial monument.
The traditional march to the Warkworth RSA, led by servicemen, followed the wreath-laying, despite reports that it may not go ahead this year.