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ANZAC Tradition Honoured in NZ Post Stamps

ANZAC Tradition Honoured in NZ Post Stamps


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2 April 2008

ANZAC Tradition Honoured in NZ Post Stamps

The many New Zealanders who lost their lives fighting on foreign fields are being remembered and honoured in New Zealand Post’s latest Stamp Issue; The ANZAC Series – Stories of Nationhood.

While the acronym ANZAC - Australia and New Zealand Army Corps - is now synonymous in New Zealand and Australia with service people who have served as peacekeepers in international hotspots and supported allied forces in international conflicts, it originated from those soldiers who were brought together on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

There, on beaches and hills where almost 3,000 New Zealanders and over 8,000 Australians made the ultimate sacrifice, the ANZAC tradition was forged. It remains to this day an intensely shared emotional experience. The pride those soldiers took in the name and the comradeship that developed has endured, where today the ANZAC tradition forms an important part of what it is to be a New Zealander.

The New Zealand Post ANZAC Series will focus on key aspects of the ANZAC tradition. This series will run for at least the next three years, with the first focusing on stories of nationhood. In future, the ANZAC Series will cover additional aspects of the ANZAC tradition and areas of contribution by our armed forces.

Each stamp tells a unique story. The 50c Gallipoli 1915 stamp features a photograph of the Auckland Infantry Battalion landing at what would become known as ANZAC Cove.

Another 50c stamp shows a moving image of John Frank Manila Luamanu (who at the time was a Sapper at Linton Military Camp) and his daughter, during an ANZAC Day ceremony in 2007 at Palmerston North. This captures both the historic as well as future significance of the ANZAC tradition in New Zealand today.

The $1.00 Western Front stamp shows the huge price paid by the soldiers who fought in battles of World War 1 such as the Somme in 1916, Passchendaele 1917 and the final liberation of Le Quesnoy in 1918.

The $1.50 Chalk Kiwi stamp shows the kiwi cut into the chalk hills made by a group of New Zealand soldiers in 1919 waiting to be repatriated home from Sling Camp on England’s Salisbury Plains. This highlights the soldiers’ national pride.

Formed in 1939, at the insistence of the great Maori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and fellow Maori Members of Parliament, the 28th Maori Battalion established a formidable reputation during the Second World War. The $2.00 Haka, Egypt 1941 stamp pays tribute to this contribution.

And finally, to reflect the enduring tradition of ANZAC, the Vietnam War is remembered in the $2.50 stamp.

“As one who has closely observed the resurgence of ANZAC Day over recent years it is incredibly fulfilling to contribute to this unique way of telling our ANZAC story,” said RSA Historian Dr Stephen Clarke.

“Knowing how much a letter from home was valued by troops from the time of ANZAC to today, as well as the remarkable record of war service of postal employees, it is fitting that NZ Post is commemorating and celebrating our ANZAC heritage with this series.”

The range, which includes 6 stamps, a first day cover and a special Miniature Sheet Booklet is available for purchase from 2 April at all New Zealand PostShops, Real Aotearoa stores in Christchurch and Auckland, the Wanganui Stamp Centre and online at www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps.

ENDS

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