Toesh Rawat speaks at dawn service.

Toesh Rawat (8F2) won the Howick RSA intermediate category poem/essay competition. This morning he presented his poem at the dawn service on Stockdale Hill and then later at the Howick RSA’s breakfast.  His poem is below.

On the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula
Our men stood steadfast
As kaitiaki for whom no price was high enough
Even if it meant laying their lives down
E kore e whakarere

All around them
The stench of death, loss and grief
Comrades mere shells of men they had been
Shadows of the lives they had led
Contemplating the grueling conditions they endured
The hope that war would end kept them going
Every single day the memories of the tamariki, the kuia who wait and hope
Hope and wait for their sons return.
Hope and wait for their fathers to return
E kore e whakarere

But these men had a bigger promise to fulfill
They had to make the world a better place even with the smallest of actions.
Even the smallest of actions changed the lives of the future generations
Even the smallest of actions still affects us to this day
There every action gave us the freedom we have now.
E kore e whakarere

The day creeps by slowly and slowly with just the thought of their families
Every single day they had to deal with the gruesome conditions.
Every single day they had to fight for their families at home
Every single day the soldiers have to fight for the future tamarikis
Every single day the nurses had to help heal the injured
All to help end the war
E kore e whakarere

Putting their lives on the line
Watching their friends die
Shell casings everywhere
Rationing their food

Dying of diseases
All to help the future generations
E kore e whakarere

Stuck on the edge of a cliff
The sea on their back
Turks above them
Nowhere to go
They still fight and won’t give up
It is because of them, we live in freedom
All to help us now.
E kore e whakarere

When the war had ended, their sacrifices, not forgotten
The death of their fellow comrades, not forgotten
Everything they had done for our country, not forgotten
E kore e whakarere

Lest we forget