A French delegation commemorated Anzac Day 2019 in New Zealand [fr]
From 23-28 April 2019, a French delegation led by the mayors of Arras, Longueval and Flers travelled to Wellington and Auckland to commemorate the NZ soldiers who took part in WW1 and fought in France.
From 23-28 April 2019, a French delegation travelled to New Zealand to take part in the 2019 Anzac Day commemorations in New Zealand. The mayors of three towns from the North of France, Mr Frédéric Leturque (Arras), Mr Jany Fournier (Longueval) and Mr Pierre Capelle (Flers) were joined by representatives from Le Quesnoy, the Wellington Quarry museum in Arras and the “Hauts de France” regional tourism committee.
On 24 April in Wellington, they met their counterpart, Mr Justin Lester, before visiting some of the several locations named in memory of the battles fought in France and in Europe by kiwi soldiers during WW1 such as the Arras Tunnel, the Pukeahu Memorial Park, French-WW1 street names in Karori (Flers, Messines, etc.). In the evening, the delegation was invited to a ceremony hosted by Ambassador Carta-Le Vert at the French residence.
On Anzac Day, the mayors attended the Dawn service alongside Mayor J. Lester at the Pukeahu Memorial Park in Wellington and also took part in the National Commemoration Service during which they laid a wreath. Afterwards, the members of the delegation visited the French memorial accompanied by Ambassador Carta-Le Vert and former NZ Ambassador to France Sarah Dennis.
On 26 April, the members of the delegation flew to Auckland. Prior to meeting local French community representatives, they visited the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
French military officials also took part in Anzac Day commemorations at the Air Force museum of New Zealand in Christchurch.
Following last year’s unveiling ceremony of the French memorial “Le Caligramme” at the Pukeahu Memorial park in Wellington, this visit underlines the special and historical ties between our two countries.
The First World War was a major traumatic experience for France, New Zealand and the entire world. But the war was also an occasion for people of different nationalities to meet and exchange, and for countries to forge bonds that would last beyond the atrocities.