The New Zealand Embassy in Belgium is ready to celebrate Anzac Day in Belgium; Anzac Day is Celebrated as a National Day of remembrance in New Zealand and Australia for all the New Zealanders and Australians who served their nation and died in wars, Conflicts and peace Operations.
Over the next four weeks, The New Zealand Embassy has been looking back at some of its commemorative events from the last few years. This week the New Zealand Embassy is starting with the Pou Maumahara. Pou Maumahara is a place to visit for researchers to make personal discoveries about the New Zealand people. This exceptional memorial carving was gifted and unveiled at the Chateau grounds of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, on Anzac Day 2019.
The Mau Mahara was created from 4,500-year-old native New Zealand timber by master carvers weighing the tutors and students from the New Zealand Māori Arts & Crafts Institute in Rotorua, New Zealand; it weighs 17 tonnes.
The pou Mau Mahara is named “Pōhutukawa” after a native New Zealand tree symbolising new beginnings. “Pōhutukawa trees welcomed the tūpuna (ancestors) of New Zealand Māori people when they first arrived in the country, as well as being the tree that spiritually farewells our loved ones.” The red pōhutukawa flower is also often compared to the poppy at Passchendaele when it blooms.
Reportedly, Anzac Day was first called to be as Anzac on October 13, 1915, but was honoured on April 25, 1916. Anzacs are referred to as the Australian and New Zealand army corps; traditionally, the Anzac Day services are held at dawn, as the dawn is the best time for Anzac soldiers to attack the enemy, particularly the area where the Anzacs landed in Turkey, known as Anzac cove. The theme for Anzac Day Schools’ Awards, 2023, is Commemorating Australia’s Vietnam War Service.