ANZAC day is a day of remembrance for loved ones that served at war - by Taputukura Raea

To my family it is remembering the great sacrifice our grandfather undertook when serving in World War 1. As a family we are so very proud of his achievements and as his grandchildren we never had the opportunity to meet him, but it’s the stories passed down from our parents, aunties and uncles and the war records that help celebrate his memory.  

Our family have his war uniform, war certificates, war medals and his journal that he used to write the names of the Cook Islands soldiers that had fallen while in the field. These are the treasures our parents have held on tight too and looked after with care, so that us grandchildren, great great grandchildren can still pass on the memory for future generations.  

Carl Marsters daughters Tepaeru Mata and Caroline Raea holding his war uniform.

Our grandfather served as a warrant officer – which was the highest ranked Cook Islander.  

Cook Islands roll of honour boards | NZHistory, New Zealand history online 

Like many Pacific young men, my grandfather signed up to serve. The Cook Islands association with New Zealand meant many of the soldiers served under the Māori Battalion.  

Carl Masters - ANZAC blog

Carl Marsters  

Photo credit – Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soldiers Research Project  

For me, my contribution to ANZAC day, was to make sure our Pacific soldiers are always remembered. Auckland War memorial shares many of the Pacific soldiers that served in the war. This was important to me to share these records in the digitalpasifik website. So that other Pacific people can connect and find their ancestors. But also attending events that commemorate our fallen soldiers.  

Ongoing remembrance like Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soldiers Research Project | Facebook 

Taputukura Raea as the Cook Islands flag bearer and Sheldon Akavi dressed as a Cook Island Soldier.  

Connecting to the past and paying the respect to those who have the ultimate sacrifice. Many Pacific families may have similar stories. They may have had a great uncle, great great grandfather, great great grandmother that have also served.  I urge you to share these stories, find out about them through resources like Tāmaki Paenga Hira – Auckland War Memorial Museum, Cook Islands WW1 NZEF ANZAC Soliders Research Project , 500 COOK ISLANDS SOLDIERS  

A day of remembrance and reconnection - by Matirini Ngari  

Last year I attended my first ANZAC service with my husband at Tāmaki Paenga Hira - Auckland War Memorial Museum at the breaking of dawn. As the band played and the veterans marched to lay wreaths at the foot of the cenotaph it stirred up a sombre atmosphere and emotions as I thought of the sacrifice these soldiers made that afforded us the freedom to be standing there on the steps of the museum that day.  

Tuaivi Mose and his wife Manavatini on their wedding day, 10 September 1919

My great grandfather Tuaivi Mose fought in World War I from 1915 till his return home in 1919. Enlisting in Wellington where he was working and living at the time, he reported to Trentham Military Camp on April 19 1915. I remember as a child my mother and aunties would recall their grandfathers service in the war and the memories their mother had of him. My family and I were very fortunate enough that our papa left behind his war journal about the details of his time in Egypt, France and Gallipoli. His accounts of the war included the horrors he saw in the trenches of Gallipoli, but also the wonder and excitement as this island boy travelled to countries he’d only heard about before. In 2019 my aunty Matakeu Parakoti published his journal into a book called "My Life Journey" after years of research.

Matakeu Parakoti launching my great grandfathers book

Photo credit - Matakeu Parakoti

The connection to my great grandfather and his time in the war has and will always be an ongoing part of our lives. With new generations joining our branch we are tasked with ensuring his stories live on through preservation.  

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For me ANZAC has always been a day I remember not only the service of my great grandfather but also of all servicemen who put their life on the line and who continue to do so to enable us our freedom today. I often think back and wonder if I could’ve made the sacrifice my great grandfather did, knowing I might not make it back to see my loved ones. Today marks a day to honour those fallen but also makes us aware of the negative effects of war, effects still being felt generations down the line. It is a day to remember and a day to reconnect to our past.  Lest we forget.  

Tuaivi Mose

Photo credit - Matakeu Parakoti

Welcome and warm Pasifik greetings

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