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Anzac Commemoration Under Fire


More coverage from the recent Niue Assembly meeting…

The island’s Returned Servicemen’s Association [Niue RSA] was the subject of vigorous debate in the Assembly, on a motion introduced by Common Roll member Hon O’love Jacobsen. Mrs Jacobsen’s motion was to ask Cabinet to review the current arrangements for commemorating Anzac.

In introducing the motion Mrs Jacobsen was critical of what she saw as an erosion of the original purpose of the commemoration. The occasion she said has become politicised over the past few years culminating in the latest commemoration where the RSA had asked for funding and Premier had announced a $50,000 grant. The ceremony itself requires major overhauling she said.

Anzac Commemoration Niue 2017 – pic Bill Vakaafi.

Mrs Jacobsen’s suggestion that the commemoration be held every 5 years did not receive much support from members. There was however overwhelming support for Anzac to be commemorated each year but more attention be paid to the ceremony in order return some of the dignity befitting the occasion.

The Dawn Parade according to some members, has now become The Broad Daylight Parade. Minister Pokotoa Sipeli reminded members of a village in Belgium where each day, there is a ceremony to remember those who gave their lives in the First World War and added that one day each year, set aside for Anzac is not too much to ask. Minister Billy Talagi was prepared to look at ways that one of the Ministries of government could offer some assistance in organising the event.

The matter will now be referred to Cabinet.

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