100 years since Mangapurua ANZACs
It’s 100 years since the First World War veterans returned from campaigns such as Gallipoli to take up farms in the Mangapurua Valley.
Over 200 people attended the service and unveiling of a new monument honouring them, including descendants of the original settlers of the Valley.
The ANZAC memorial service was held yesterday morning at the head of the valley near the trig site.
Some of those attending were over 90 years old, but thanks to strong spirits and willing helpers, all were ferried in and out safely on all-terrain quad bikes and via helicopter.
The service, led by Mike and Raewyn West, marks 100 years since the Mangapurua Valley was opened for settlement by the returned servicemen of the First World War.
A stunning and symbolic monument was unveiled during the service, depicting an axe set into the pinnacle of a pyramid bearing the names of the original settlers of the valley.
The service was an emotional time, evoking both smiles and tears and ringing with song.
A poignant comment is inscribed on the remains of one of the homesteads in the Mangapurua Valley:
“When their country needed they heeded the call, but when they in turn needed, they were forgotten.”
It is hoped that the new memorial goes some way to restore the memory.
Photo: Ron Bettjeman, one of the descendants of the original settlers of the Mangapurua Valley, introduces the new monument marking 100 years since the settlement began.