ANZAC: Niue and the Cook Islands remember

The Cook Islands and Niue have marked ANZAC Day with dawn service ceremonies in each nation.

1000 men from the Pacific Islands served in World War I, including 500 men from the Cook Islands and 150 from Niue.

Today is ANZAC Day in the Cook Islands, and the RSA will host several events.

The Australian and New Zealand high commissioners to the Cook Islands attend the Dawn Service.

The Returned Services Association there says young people play an important part in ANZAC Day commemorations.

The president of the RSA Pira Wichman said the association has been blessed to have over the last few years the Girl Guides, the Pathfinders, the Boys Brigade, Boy Scouts and various other organisations take part.

ANZAC day was commemorated with a Dawn Service in Rarotonga.

“They play a major part in our remembrance – they will do the readings; they recite the Ode to Remembrance and the Flanders Field,” he said.

Wichman said there’s a board at the RSA centre with the names of Cook Islands soldiers who went to war and sharing that history with the young people in the country is important.

During this year’s commemorations, a group of Vietnam veterans took part in the commemorations.


“We commemorate their commitment, their sacrifice, every year on ANZAC Day, and that’s when the descendants of those who returned and the families of those who never returned, who passed away en route to New Zealand and those who passed away in Europe,” Esther Pavihi, head of Broadcasting Corporation Niue, said.

Anzac day commemoration in Niue.

Pavihi said many families on the island named their children after those who left – for example, a former female MP from the village of Toi, her grandfather’s ‘Liumaihetau’, which means ‘I came back from the war’.

“Another family from the village of Hikutavake, a mother who sent four of her sons, two returned and two did not return, so she changed her name, to say that ‘Isi ua’ – which means she gave away two.”

Pavihi said every ANZAC Day is an emotional one for people on the island.

Niuean NZ Navy personnel who came especially to join today's ANZAC service

A New Zealand delegation in Niue, led by Brownlee, attended the Dawn Parade at the National War Memorial in Central Alofi.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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