New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

ANZAC Day commemorated in Manila

From left to right: Chargé d'affaires, Turkish Embassy Mr Berki Tuna Atala, The New Zealand Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Andrew Matheson, The Australian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Rod Smith, Acting Secretary, Department of National Defense, Mr Norberto Gonzales.

Hundreds of New Zealanders, Australians, Filipinos and people of other nations gathered in Manila to commemorate ANZAC Day.

A moving dawn service at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Sunday 25 April marked the 95th anniversary of the ill-fated Gallipoli landings in World War 1.  The large crowd included hundreds of people from the New Zealand and Australian communities, senior political and military representatives from the Philippines, and diplomats from different countries.

The ceremony included the traditional elements of a short address, reading of the ‘Ode to the Fallen’ and the words of Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk, prayers and hymns.

Wreaths were laid by the four VIPs: the New Zealand and Australian ambassadors, a representative of the Turkish embassy, and the Philippine Secretary of National Defense.  New Zealand and Australia community groups and businesses, ambassadors of several countries, and international schools also laid wreaths.

The ceremony was followed by a traditional ‘gunfire’ breakfast.

Later in the day New Zealand and Australia faced off in a cricket match, which has become a Manila ANZAC day tradition.  Following the two national anthems and a minute’s silence to mark the significance of the day, the two teams toiled in the heat to produce the most dramatic result in the 12-year history of the tournament — with Australia winning against the odds off the last ball.

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