A Word from the Mayor

31 October 201

Pic of Winton

Hurunui Remembers

By the time of my next column, the observance of the Centenary of Armistice will be written into history, as will the commemoration of the Centenary of WW1.

Much has been written, many speeches and addresses delivered, and many re-enactments of well-known aspects of the War have been produced during the last four years, 2014-2018, the duration of the Centenary Commemorations.

White Crosses bearing the names of Soldiers who lost their lives in WW1 have been seen in prominent locations around our District, and around the Country, placed in Fields of Remembrance for Anzac, and other occasions over the duration of the commemorations.

Much of the focus of the Commemorations has been on the War itself, and that is understandable, however the war undoubtedly seriously impacted on the entire Community in countless ways, not least the Women at home.

With around 100,000 young men away for those years, representing 10% of the total NZ population, 41,000 injured and 18,000 losing their lives and not able to take up their rightful place in society again, our workforce culture and the importance of the place of women in it was undoubtedly changed forever.

The demand for labour to support the war effort in the absence of the young male workforce was huge, particularly in Factories to manufacture supplies, and on Farms to produce food and fibre, these all required to keep the Troops fed, clothed, and armed.

Much of that labour was provided by the Woman folk, and much of the work was physically demanding in those days of hard physical work, and long hours, not comparable with modern day mechanisation and easier working conditions.

While we are remembering, let us not forget that those at home lost husbands, future husbands, sons, brothers, relatives, friends, and workmates, and our country lost many potential community and business leaders, and not least our country lost so much strong genetic potential.

The people of Hurunui have the opportunity to join together at the Amberley Domain on Armistice Day to remember all those affected by what was sadly entitled the Great War.

Lest we forget, no one was unaffected by this horrific historic disaster.

 

Winton Dalley
Winton.dalley@hurunui.govt.nz