Monday, 25 April 2016

A day to remember


I've always loved going to the Dawn Service on Anzac Day, There's something special about standing together with a group of unknowns, most of us with the common purpose of honouring the past. When my kids were young, I took them with me at least once, so they could experience the atmosphere and learn something of their history.

Most times I take my camera because I'm working, or because I'm looking for that extra special memory, but this year I just wanted to be.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

Stirring as I hear Jo rev the car and head off to 0430 muster, I hope she doesn't wake the neighbours. Thirty minutes later snapping off my alarm clock so as not to disturb Linda more than necessary. First coffee as welcome as ever as I read Jesus's story about the rich man commending his steward for ripping him off, it's gonna take all day to process that one.

It's still dark, the nearly full moon adding its light to the coloured lights on the cenotaph and surrounding trees. Hundreds of people already here, everyone wrapped up against the cold, and not a camera in sight. Singing the national anthem with pride, I must learn the Maori version, and what it means.

John Roil speaks of the two great-uncles he never met. I think about the two grandfathers I never knew. Grandpa in London who I briefly met as an adult, so many questions unasked. I remember Dad saying that as a Quaker he was a conscientious objector and served on the ambulances. Granddad in Dunedin who died years ago, we'd shifted to Woodville, so many things unsaid. Mum's memories would suggest he returned from the war scarred inwardly as much or more so than on the outer.

Anzac Day: A commemoration of heroism, regrets for what might have been, sorrow for the loss. So many people affected. Lost opportunities.

I think about Nicky in Australia who I see once or twice a year, and phone nearly every week. I couldn't imagine sending her off, never to see or hear from her again.

Mr Roil calls it "The Great Adventure". I wonder did they really think that or is it just rewriting history with a bit of rose-coloured nostalgia. "Founded the nation"? Sounds like propaganda, however well-intentioned.

I think about Jess and Shal who live in Taradale, I don't see them that often. They're newly married, crazy busy and setting out in life, I wonder how I can get know him better.

Jo, I can't see you behind all the people, I hope you don't faint. Guard duty is a tough honour, I'm so proud of you. Sometime soon she'll join one of the Armed Forces. Before she applied we talked about the very real risk of being killed and that one day she might have to shoot back.

My sister Rose was a driver and cook in the Territorials, back when I was in high school. I remember going to her passing out parade and excitedly shooting rolls of film, back when I couldn't afford it, a visual extravaganza. Dad did time in the air force for his CMT (Compulsory Military Training) after WW2. He could have been a pilot except for the minutest fraction of red/green colour-blindness.

The bugle plays The Last Post and Reveille and I choke back tears as a I remember playing at my father-in-law's funeral. Most people don't know it represents the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our eternal hope of the same. I know I'll see Dad again.

The three-volley gun salute echoes hauntingly back from the hills. I've never heard that before, too busy taking photographs.

A horse clip-clops past, a uniformed chap in the saddle. That's the way it was done back then. War is hell.

The choir sings a capella as the wreaths are laid. Few of us can see what's happening, but no-one shuffles or looks around. It's not about us. A little girl on her Dad's shoulders squirms around and gives him a kiss on the cheek. He embraces her.

The padre closes with a prayer. Interesting that he talks to God, but doesn't say "In Jesus' Name" as he closes. I guess he's being inclusive. Once we were a Christian nation but times have changed, the preacher on Sunday referred to us as a secular country.  They say no-one's an atheist in the trenches though.

The roar of three planes flying in formation overhead, a fitting climax. Not a moment too soon and nearly too late. I remember a previous service when the army speaker had a joke about that. Well done, boys.

Sergeant major calls the parade to attention, the band strikes up a bright little number and the diggers march off. I'm impressed they can still keep up. Off to the RSA to swap stories and drink copious amounts of beer. I love it when the crowd applauds them.

The party breaks up, and people head off to the day's activities. Having a public holiday on Anzac Day is awesome, everyone can be involved if they want to. Some hang around, waiting to place their poppy on the Cenotaph. So many wreaths. A beautiful wreath from a school, a child's handwriting, so innocent. Now the cell-phones come out. Selfies!

I asked my son if he'd join me this morning, and he said, "No thanks Dad, maybe next year". Considering he could be at university then, my reply was, "You might not be here." My unspoken thought was, "Life is uncertain, nor might I."

Hastings Cenotaph Anzac Day 2016. "Lest We Forget" 1914-1919 ~ ERECTED ~ to the Glory of God and as an Everlasting Tribute - to -  All Those who gave their lives during The Great War That we might live i peace with justice and freedom -------- "Their name liveth for evermore" photograph
"Lest We Forget"
1914-1919
~ ERECTED ~
to the
Glory of God
and as an
Everlasting Tribute
- to - 
All Those
who gave their lives during
The Great War
That we might live in peace
with justice and freedom
--------
"Their name liveth for evermore"

Moving Pictures

My choice of video from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺

Jackie Gibbes and Richard Cuthbert, developers from Triple R Lifestyles in Takapau, have served High Court documents on Central Hawke's Bay mayor Peter Butler and three of his council's staff, at Central Hawke's Bay District Council in Waipawa. photograph
Takapau couple claim "abuse of power [while] in public office"
Jackie Gibbes and Richard Cuthbert, developers from Triple R Lifestyles in Takapau, have served High Court documents on Central Hawke's Bay mayor Peter Butler and three of his council's staff, at Central Hawke's Bay District Council in Waipawa.

(Video autostarts after the break, may take a little time to load. There are also links to some of my other videos.)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺ 

(including at times, photos for the Napier Courierthe Hastings Leader,
Second left: No 4 Olivia Merry, scored the first goal for the New Zealand Black Sticks who went on to beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Happy crowd
Second left: No 4 Olivia Merry, scored the first goal for the New Zealand Black Sticks who went on to beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

L-R: Olivia Merry, Sophie Cocks, New Zealand Black Sticks who beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Just relieved
L-R: Olivia Merry, Sophie Cocks, New Zealand Black Sticks who beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Right: Mark Hager, coach of the New Zealand Black Sticks who beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
 Job's done
Right: Mark Hager, coach of the New Zealand Black Sticks who beat Japan 3-2 in the final of the Festival of Hockey, at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Clouds, late afternoon light, sunset, weather above Mt Erin , Havelock North. photograph
Burning sky
Clouds, late afternoon light, sunset, weather above Mt Erin , Havelock North.

Charlie Beetham, chief pilot, Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter, Hastings, carrying "Bay Marina", a painting by artist Des Robertshaw, Napier, which will be auctioned at the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Cocktail Party at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings. photograph
On the move
Charlie Beetham, chief pilot, Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter, Hastings, carrying "Bay Marina", a painting by artist Des Robertshaw, Napier, which will be auctioned at the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Cocktail Party at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings.

The new Delegat Winery in Ormond Rd, Hastings. photograph
Local landmark
The new Delegat Winery in Ormond Rd, Hastings.

Celebration of the final instalment of Te Ara o Nga Tipuna (Pathways of our Ancestors), a partnership project between Napier City Council and Ngati Paarau; and the the launch of Te Ara o Matareta (Maggie’s Way), a new section of the Rotary Pathways network at Otatara Pa, Otatara, Taradale, Napier. photograph
Otatara pou
Celebration of the final instalment of Te Ara o Nga Tipuna (Pathways of our Ancestors), a partnership project between Napier City Council and Ngati Paarau; and the the launch of Te Ara o Matareta (Maggie’s Way), a new section of the Rotary Pathways network at Otatara Pa, Otatara, Taradale, Napier.

Stars in the night sky, 6-57pm, pictured from Middle Rd, Havelock North, on a night where aurora displays were visible elsewhere in New Zealand. Technical info: The camera was Canon EOS 1-D Mk IV with a 16mm lens. Exposure was 30 seconds, f2.8 at 400ASA. (As far as I can remember, this was the first time in my 30 year career that I've set out to photograph the stars. Still learning) photograph
O Starry Night
Stars in the night sky, 6-57pm, pictured from Middle Rd, Havelock North, on a night where aurora displays were visible elsewhere in New Zealand. Technical info: The camera was Canon EOS 1-D Mk IV with a 16mm lens. Exposure was 30 seconds, f2.8 at 400ASA. (As far as I can remember, this was the first time in my 30 year career that I've set out to photograph the stars. Still learning)

L-R: Steve Mills, Hastings, makes a gold coin donation for an Anzac Poppy, from LAC Oliver Wilkinson and LAC Billy Sauer, 11 Squadron Air Training Corps District of Hastings, supporting the RSA, at The Warehouse, Hastings. photograph
Supporting veterans
L-R: Steve Mills, Hastings, makes a gold coin donation for an Anzac Poppy, from LAC Oliver Wilkinson and LAC Billy Sauer, 11 Squadron Air Training Corps District of Hastings, supporting the RSA, at The Warehouse, Hastings.

L-R: Leanne Griffiths, Twyford, Kathy Maidens, Havelock North, at the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Cocktail Party, in The Exhibition Hall, at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings. photograph
Shocking price
L-R: Leanne Griffiths, Twyford, Kathy Maidens, Havelock North, at the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Cocktail Party, in The Exhibition Hall, at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings.

Hawke's Bay Today Photo Sales

Monday, 18 April 2016

Moving Pictures

My choice of video from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺

Hockey action plus an interview with Emily Gaddum after New Zealand Black Sticks beat Japan 3-2 in the final game of the Festival of Hockey, at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings. photograph
New Zealand Black Sticks win the Hawke's Bay Cup
Hockey action plus an interview with Emily Gaddum after New Zealand Black Sticks beat Japan 3-2 in the final game of the Festival of Hockey, at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings.

(Video autostarts after the break, may take a little time to load. There are also links to some of my other videos.)

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺ 

(including at times, photos for the Napier Courierthe Hastings Leader,
the Havelock North Village Press and/or The Link)

Trees reflected in puddles at the old skating rink at Whitmore Park, Napier, after light rain, drizzle, wet weather. photograph
Another view
Trees reflected in puddles at the old skating rink at Whitmore Park, Napier, after light rain, drizzle, wet weather.

Yasmeen Muhammad, aka Fatima Muhammad, Hastings, pictured at Hawke's Bay Airport, Napier, is annoyed that her Jetstar flight left for Auckland 10 minutes early, leaving her and several other passengers behind. photograph
Missed her plane
Yasmeen Muhammad, aka Fatima Muhammad, Hastings, pictured at Hawke's Bay Airport, Napier, is annoyed that her Jetstar flight left for Auckland 10 minutes early, leaving her and several other passengers behind.

Cui Qiuxia, captain, defender, Chinese hockey team, training at the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Enjoying the challenge
Cui Qiuxia, captain, defender, Chinese hockey team, training at the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Aaron Duncan, Freenergy Solar Solutions, Clive, pictured with a sunset and solar panels on the rooftop of his home by the Clive River in Clive. photograph
Solar sunset
Aaron Duncan, Freenergy Solar Solutions, Clive, pictured with a sunset and solar panels on the rooftop of his home by the Clive River in Clive.

Akane Shibata, Japanese hockey team, training at the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
 Penalty practice
Akane Shibata, Japanese hockey team, training at the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Centre: Sophie Cocks, No 17, Black Sticks, New Zealand hockey team, pictured after training at Park Island, Napier, competing in the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Ready to go
Centre: Sophie Cocks, No 17, Black Sticks, New Zealand hockey team, pictured after training at Park Island, Napier, competing in the Festival of Hockey at Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Second left: No 26 Pippa Hayward, New Zealand, scored her team's third goal - Final score 3-2, New Zealand beat Australia, Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings. photograph
Winning goal celebrated
Second left: No 26 Pippa Hayward, New Zealand, scored her team's third goal - Final score 3-2, New Zealand beat Australia, Festival of Hockey, Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park, Hastings.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Spice of Life

My choice from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺ 

(including at times, photos for the Napier Courierthe Hastings Leader,
the Havelock North Village Press and/or The Link)

Memorial Parade at Civic Square, Hastings, part of the reunion of 1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (The Originals), 1RNZIR, Gurr Battalion 1963-1965. photograph
We will remember them
Memorial Parade at Civic Square, Hastings, part of the reunion of 1 Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (The Originals), 1RNZIR, Gurr Battalion 1963-1965.

Nathan Bridge-Earney, Westshore Sea Scouts, Westshore, Napier - final parade, closing ceremony of the LNI Summer Camp, Battle of Hastings, Waiapu Zone, Scouts and Venturers camp at Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings. photograph
Boots 'n' all
Nathan Bridge-Earney, Westshore Sea Scouts, Westshore, Napier - final parade, closing ceremony of the LNI Summer Camp, Battle of Hastings, Waiapu Zone, Scouts and Venturers camp at Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, Hastings.

Kirstin Daly-Taylor, head coach, Bay Hawks - Nelson Giants beat Bay Hawks 91-80 - Basketball at Pettigrew.Green Arena, Taradale, Napier. photograph
Not happy
Kirstin Daly-Taylor, head coach, Bay Hawks - Nelson Giants beat Bay Hawks 91-80 - Basketball at Pettigrew.Green Arena, Taradale, Napier.

West Quay, Napier, pictured from the Napier Sailing Club, Napier. photograph
Sleepy village
West Quay, Napier, pictured from the Napier Sailing Club, Napier.

L-R: Junior Telea, Napier Intermediate School, Napier, running in for the last try of the game; Grayson Hesketh, Hastings Intermediate School, Hastings -  0800 Beach 5's, a three-day beach rugby competition  at Ocean Beach, 16 different teams each day, from intermediate and full primary schools from Hawke's Bay. photograph
Runaway try
L-R: Junior Telea, Napier Intermediate School, Napier, running in for the last try of the game; Grayson Hesketh, Hastings Intermediate School, Hastings -  0800 Beach 5's, a three-day beach rugby competition  at Ocean Beach, 16 different teams each day, from intermediate and full primary schools from Hawke's Bay.

Tree vandalism at Eskdale Park, Eskdale, Napier. photograph
No excuse
Tree vandalism at Eskdale Park, Eskdale, Napier.

Mike McLachlan, Taradale premiers rugby team, will be playing his 50th match for the team on Friday, pictured at Taradale Rugby Club, Carters Arms Park, Taradale, Napier. photograph
Staunch
Mike McLachlan, Taradale premiers rugby team, will be playing his 50th match for the team on Friday, pictured at Taradale Rugby Club, Carters Arms Park, Taradale, Napier.

Hawke's Bay Today Photo Sales

Monday, 28 March 2016

Moving Pictures

My choice of video from a week's work at Hawke's Bay Today ☺

Mangapapa Hotel's new owner Seizo Arai (centre) was welcomed by a group called Parearau, before he officially re-opened the luxury hotel near Mangateretere, Hastings, after major renovations. photograph
Mangapapa Hotel re-opens in style
Mangapapa Hotel's new owner Seizo Arai (centre) was welcomed by a group called Parearau, before he officially re-opened the luxury hotel near Mangateretere, Hastings, after major renovations.

(Video autostarts after the break, may take a little time to load. There are also links to some of my other videos.)