Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lest We Forget - ANZAC 2015 Address

Julie delivered the ANZAC Address for the 2015 Mt Roskill War Memorial service, 25th April 2015, 100 years after the landings at Gallipoli.  

Those who have visited Gallipoli will have noticed there the many cemeteries, markers to the fallen.  These graves have a special international body that looks after them, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and wherever you find them you will find careful, thoughtful plantings.  Red poppies, of course, and also rosemary, the herb.  Rosemary for remembrance.
I want to focus in this address, on the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, on the theme of remembrance, encapsulated for ANZAC Day with the three words “Lest We Forget”

Lest We Forget – a trio that call on us to bear witness, to always remember, to never forget. 

Lest We Forget
The 45% of the then adult male population of Aotearoa New Zealand who went to fight in World War I.  They were called by what was still then thought of as Home, Mother England, to fight for King and Country on land a very long way away. 

Lest We Forget
The 13 men from this community who never came home, who we remember this day with the 13 white crosses that bear their names, as part of the national Fields of Remembrance.  In 1915, a hundred years ago, Mt Roskill was a small mainly rural community.  You can see from the names some families lost several members, and the impact of these thirteen deaths would have been significant – lost brothers, fathers, sons, husbands; lost hopes for those left behind.

Lest We Forget
Those who did come home; the soldiers, the sailors, the airmen, the nurses; the injured, the scarred; those who shared their stories, those who could never talk of it. 

Lest We Forget
Those from other nations who fought at Gallipoli, hailing from Australia, France, the Pacific Islands and African colonies.  There were many Indian troops on the Peninsula, and some of our South Asian community who have more recently migrated to Mt Roskill will have had ancestors who fought with the other commonwealth troops.

Lest We Forget
The Turks, who were fighting on their own land, to defend their own country.  More than 80,000 Turks died at Gallipoli.

Lest We Forget
The spirit of grace and forgiveness that some can find after war. 

Lest We Forget
The 1934 words of Ataturk, Turkey’s first president, carved in stone at ANZAC Cove:
“Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives!
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

Lest We Forget
Those who remained at home; the invalids, the Home Guard, the providers of essential services, the women stepping into male roles for the first time, the conscientious objectors, those too young or too old to go.   The burden they must have borne, not only in keeping the home fires burning, but also the hope of the post and the dread of the telegram, the sense of uncertainty.

Lest We Forget
The conflicts before and since; among them the Second World War, the Land Wars, the Boer War, wars in Vietnam, Korea, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and more.

Lest We Forget
The 50 million people worldwide displaced from their homes by wars and conflict right now, particularly from Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine and Somalia.  

Lest We Forget
The people of Mt Roskill who have come here for generations to make a better life, some as refugees from conflicts in their homelands, others in the aftermath of wars that destroyed their homes and livelihoods. 

Lest We Forget
The 143 troops New Zealand has sent this week to Iraq.  My 7 yo son, who reads the newspaper, asked "will Daddy have to go to war?"  Followed by “what if war comes here?”

Lest We Forget
The horrors of war, the suffering of soldiers and civilians.

Lest We Forget
The Gallipoli peninsula as it is today, windswept, unwelcoming.  When I visited in 2006 the sense of loss was palpable.  It was cold and barren, the impression of trenches still clear, as if the land were so affected by the battles that it had not yet recovered nearly 100 years later.  Much as Gallipoli shaped our nation for decades to come.

Lest We Forget.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Media release: Roskill Community Voice humbled by historic result

"The Roskill Community Voice (RCV) team is humbled by this weekend's election result which has seen RCV win four of six positions on the Puketapapa Local Board. The mandate that we have received from the community is a clear one, and we are honoured that Mt Roskill people have shown confidence in our values and our people", says Julie Fairey, current Local Board member.

"The four RCV members elected; Harry Doig (new), Julie Fairey (incumbent), David Holm (new), and Michael Wood (incumbent), represent a majority on the new Board. This is the first time in around sixty years that a non-C&R group has had a majority in Mt Roskill local government, and is an historic shift", says Michael Wood, current Board member.

"While we are excited by this election outcome, we also regret that some people of quality were not successful. Both Garth Houltham and Shail Kaushal were fine RCV candidates who have shown great commitment to our community. We also acknowledge outgoing C&R members Richard Barter and Peter Muys. In particular, Richard Barter who has been the inaugural Local Board chair, is an outstanding community leader who has contributed enormously to Mt Roskill. We wish them both well", says Julie Fairey.

"In the new term RCV will be focussed on delivering on its core election platform:

  • Winning a Fair Share for Roskill and ending the funding disparity currently faced by our community.
  • Advancing our campaign to Bury the Pylons
  • Looking after our environment and taking serious action to restore our neglected volcanic cones.
  • Acting to reduce the harm caused by liquor and pokies in our community.

"We will also ensure that the Local Board is governed carefully, responsibly, and inclusively. Our approach will be to work collaboratively with all Board members, regardless of political label. We also want to open the Board up more so that the people and groups of Mt Roskill become more engaged in shaping the future of our community", says Michael Wood.

"Once again, we thank local people for delivering this historic result. The Roskill Community Voice team will be working hard for our community from day one", says Julie Fairey.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Election results for 2013 - Puketapapa Local Board

Roskill Community Voice candidates are underlined, elected candidates are in bold.

The results this morning (which include special votes) are:

5095   Richard Barter - Communities & Residents (incumbent)            
5451   Harry Doig - Roskill Community Voice
1832   Peter Eccles - Independent                                                      
6542   Julie Fairey - Roskill Community Voice (incumbent)
5553   David Holm - Roskill Community Voice 
4592   Garth Houltham - Roskill Community Voice 
4970   Shail Kaushal - Roskill Community Voice 
5505   Ella Kumar - Communities & Residents (incumbent)               
4868   Peter Muys - Communities & Residents (incumbent)                
1521   Darren Pigg (no affiliation given)                                              
1615   Joseph Rebello - Conservative                                                
1202   Hari Shankar (no affiliation given)                                            
2110   Paul Sommer - Conservative                                                    
6157   Nigel Turnbull - Communities & Residents (incumbent)      
3833   Matt van Tuinen - Communities & Residents                            
7098   Michael Wood - Roskill Community Voice (incumbent) 
Informal      55
Blank         648

You can read the full results here.

A big big thank you to all our supporters and those who helped out.