Youth Mark Anzac Day

  • 5 July 2012

Holding the “Lest We Forget” Anzac wreath prior to the parade are from left, Algy Fermanis, Abish Jones and Anthanee Fermanis

"Their sacrifice reminded me that lessons can be learnt from the past—such as people in the scriptures who made similar sacrifices for freedom."

Abish Jones

Youth of the Opotiki Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marked ANZAC Day this year by marching in the small town's memorial service, and laying a wreath at the base of the cenotaph in the centre of town. Dressed in their Sunday clothes, the youth were a fine representation of the Church. A large number of people turned out for the service.

Algy Fermanis, aged seventeen, said: “I felt happy to be wearing a suit, and representing the Church in the parade. It made me feel special, and proud to be a member.”

This sentiment was echoed by his thirteen year old brother, Anthanee, who said “It was exciting to march in front of the crowd, and I was proud to help lay the wreath on the cenotaph. I think the soldiers who died, were very brave.”

Linking the sacrifice of the soldiers to lessons learnt in the scriptures, fifteen year old Abish Jones, the branch's sole Young Woman said, “Their sacrifice reminded me that lessons can be learnt from the past—such as people in the scriptures who made similar sacrifices for freedom.”

The Relief Society Branch President, Maraea Te Pou, taught Abish how to make the wreath from grapevines. It was beautifully decorated with handmade flax flowers, conifer foliage and camellia. This project also went towards Abish's achievements in her Young Women's Personal Progress.

PHOTO CREDIT: Image courtesy of Roseanne Jones and used with permission.