NATION

Veterans, Servicemen Join Outrigger Staff, Guests In Commemorative Service

  Staff members and guests of the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort braved the cold morning yesterday at the Coral Coast to mark the solemn Anzac Day dawn service. The men,
26 Apr 2018 10:00
Veterans, Servicemen Join Outrigger Staff, Guests In Commemorative Service
From left: Paul Newtown, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort general manager Peter Hopgood, Ian Duffy, Luke O’Connor and Linden Mooney at the resort to mark Anzac Day dawn service at the Coral Coast on April 25, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

 

Staff members and guests of the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort braved the cold morning yesterday at the Coral Coast to mark the solemn Anzac Day dawn service.

The men, women and children were joined by Paul Newtown, a retired Warrant Officer II from the Aviation Department, former pilot Ian Duffy, current Naval Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Linden Mooney and leading aircraftman Luke O’Connor.

The four from Australia were delighted to join and share the special day in the history of Australia and New Zealand with their Fijian colleagues.

Mr Newtown’s father, Dennis Newtown, a Fijian born in Lautoka moved to Australia at the age of 16.

“This is the first time for me to be in Fiji and great to be part of this event. Definitely it is a reunion, a motivational trip for me knowing that where my heritage lies,” said Mr Newtown who served 14 years before his early retirement in 2015.

CPO Linden Mooney said: “It was really emotional for me and to be able to embrace Anzac Day. It is a mere reunion where I have served with Paul and we made sure that we would be around with our family”.

Resort general manager Peter Hopgood, in marking his final term at the resort said: “I have been at the resort now for eight and a half years. This is the 8th year we have conducted this service and it gets bigger and better every year.

“We meet here today not to celebrate or glorify war, but rather to remember those that have served our countries during conflict and crisis.

“Anzac Day is not merely a date, or some remote campaign but rather a spirit, but it is a time to reflect on the qualities of past generations of Australians and New Zealanders who in hardship displayed courage, discipline, self-sacrifice, self-reliance, resourcefulness and friendship.

“The Anzac spirit which was bequeathed from battlefields long ago will live on because it is a reflection of the very heart of our nation.

“Today we remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice so that we, and the people of other nations, can live in peace. This is also a day of thanks and quiet reflection on what wonderful, lucky nations we live in.”

He thanked the Fijian family for allowing the Australians and New Zealanders the opportunity to honour our service personnel.

“We all know that you have had your own challenges in recent months with cyclones and flooding. We also know that in our time of need, it is the military forces from Australia and New Zealand that come and assist us to rebuild our beautiful country,” Mr Hopgood said.

Edited by Percy Kean

 



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