'Community togetherness' is the theme of this year’s Anzac Day service in Lincoln township. It will be the first full Anzac Day ceremony held in the new Lincoln Event Centre, located adjacent to the rugby grounds.
The service, hosted jointly by Selwyn District Council, Lincoln Community Committee and Lincoln University, starts at 2.00pm. Dignitaries participating include Selwyn Mayor Kelvin Coe, Selwyn Member of Parliament Hon. Amy Adams, who will be guest speaker, and Lincoln University Assistant Vice-Chancellor Professor Hirini Matunga.
“Many features make this year’s Lincoln Anzac service particularly special,” says coordinator Vern Clark of Lincoln, a past President of the Springs Sub-Branch of Christchurch RSA and retired Lincoln University staff member.
“Firstly, it will be the first full Anzac service held in the new Lincoln Event Centre. Last year’s service had to be spilt over two venues - outside the Event Centre at the Memorial Wall and then at the Lincoln Baptist Church.
“Secondly, a Roll of Honour board from the old Lincoln Community Centre is being relocated to the new Event Centre and according to protocol with the movement of such memorials it will be rededicated. Family representatives from among those named on the board will speak about their kinsmen.
“Thirdly, a tablet recording the names of those who played a part in the construction of the War Memorial Wall outside the Event Centre will be unveiled and blessed. This will finish the Memorial Wall project which has given Lincoln township its first ever official war memorial. The wall was in place just in time for last year’s service, but with the tablet installed it will now be complete.
“Fourthly, there’s the philosophy behind this year’s service of drawing the community together by recognising our township’s past, present and future and the potential of today’s youth,” says Mr Clark.
“There will be elements in the service representing all of these aspects of community life. For example, a group of Lincoln High School students has been trained to form the Honour Guard at the Memorial Wall, and the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl have been given roles, along with a descendant of a pioneer family.”
Defence Force personnel from Burnham will also have roles throughout the service. At the Memorial Wall, as the final part of the service, members of the public will be able to place poppies in crosses.
The first part of the service will be in the Nicholas Room at the Event Centre, named for Lincoln-born Sergeant Henry James Nicholas who served in the First World War with the Canterbury Regiment and was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery on the Western Front. He was killed in action less than a month before the end of the war in 1918.