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Gathering at dawn to honour the role of nurses.

AROUND 25 nurses from the Wellington region, many of them mental health nurses from Capital and Coast District Health Board, gathered at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park on Anzac Day last month to remember those nurses who had served overseas in World War 1. Among the group were primary health care nurses, as well as Massey University nursing lecturers and students.


One of the nurses who suggested the nurses attend the dawn service as a group, Wellington Hospital nurse Rebecca Huthwaite, said it was important to remember that almost one quarter of New Zealand's nursing workforce --550 nurses--served during the "Great War". Forty-five Anzac nurses died in active service and 10 New Zealand nurses perished during the sinking of the transport ship the Marquette.

"I know many of us were very moved by the service--more than we thought we would be. It was such a special occasion. We were all a bit touched and surprised by how much members of the public and the army respected nurses and insisted we join the parade right behind the army," said Huthwaite.

"I think arriving together, standing together, wearing our nursing badges--which were designed in 1905--and walking in the parade brought us together. Although many of us had never met, it was really powerful standing together, honouring those who had served and paying respect to the nurses who did not return at the end of the war," she said.

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Title Annotation:news & events
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:May 1, 2015
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