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Whangarei Girls’ pupil wins ANZAC Day trip to Gallipoli

Media Release
For release: 27 March 2013

Whangarei Girls’ pupil wins trip to Gallipoli for Anzac Day

Whangarei Girls’ High School student Rachel Boyd will travel to Gallipoli to attend Anzac Day commemorations after taking top honours in the national final of the ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition.

RSA National President Don McIver and ANZ General Manager of Human Resources Felicity Evans presented Rachel with the prize which, as well as the trip to Gallipoli, includes a $1000 travel fund, a trophy, a laptop computer and digital camera.

Rachel, 18, impressed the judges with her speech about Victoria Cross winner James Ward.

Using the heroic war feats of James as an example, Rachel’s speech highlighted the fact that the men who served our country in the world wars were about the same age as her – an age of new responsibilities.

“These young men and women weren’t deciding if their duvet spread matched their curtains, they were deciding whether or not to stand up and fight for New Zealand, in a country miles away from home, where life and death wasn’t a sure thing each day."

Rachel was one of eight year 12 and 13 students to speak in the national final after winning her regional final.

The students had six to eight minutes to talk on the subject of ‘New Zealanders at War’.

RSA Chief Executive Stephen Clarke said the competition was a wonderful demonstration of New Zealand’s young people honouring the sacrifice and commitment made by so many before them.

“It’s a way of keeping the memory alive throughout the generations,” he said.

“Wartime must seem very distant to our young people today, but it’s great to see that these students appreciate the courage and commitment of those who served for us."

The annual competition is a partnership between the RSA and ANZ to promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who have served New Zealand in armed conflicts overseas.

Launched in 2010 under The National Bank brand, the competition is a tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC (1892-1983) – the only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and one who worked his entire career at The National Bank. ANZ bought The National Bank in 2003 and merged the brands last year.

ANZ’s Felicity Evans said the bank, which has been in New Zealand for more than 140 years, is proud to be involved in this celebration of our country’s history for the fourth year.

“Congratulations to Rachel and all the finalists – the standard of all the speeches was so impressive.

I wasn’t the only one here today with goosebumps,” she said.

“It’s a fitting tribute to Cyril Bassett and all the other brave Kiwis who played a role in our wartime history."

ENDS

Full competition details are at http://www.rsa.org.nz/national-speech-competition

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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