Spencer Fitzpatrick, a year 12 student from Glendowie College, has been selected by Ōrākei Local Board to deliver his Anzac speech at St Heliers Anzac service on Tuesday 25 April.
Every year, the local board extends an invitation to all secondary schools in the local area to take part in the Anzac Youth Speech Competition. This year there were three students competing for the award.
“The board would like to thank Spencer for his thoughtful words and reflections which he will share at the service on Tuesday. We had three outstanding entries into this year’s competition, and it was very difficult to choose just one to have the opportunity to share with the wider community,” says Ōrākei Local Board Chair, Scott Milne.
“It was obvious to us that all three had made significant effort to research and speak to veterans about the realities of war. It was both impressive and moving.
“It’s great to see younger generations get involved and appreciate the importance of Anzac Day which commemorates events that are hugely significant in our nation’s history.”
Participating students needed to demonstrate that they had discussed wartime or peacekeeping experiences with former or current service personnel.
Spencer’s speech tells the emotional story of his great, great uncle Corporal Horace Dalbeth, a farmer from Rotorua who fought in World War II. Spencer reiterates that “he was an ordinary man, thrust into extraordinary circumstances”, as were many serving on the front lines.
He also spoke with his friend Jesse Grimes who currently serves in the New Zealand Navy, and outlines the sacrifices service personnel continue to make.
“The speech competition is a great opportunity for kids who might not usually be involved in Anzac Day to have a good think about it,” says Spencer.
“It’s extremely important to remember those who have served in the past and the sacrifices that they made. They are still important and relevant to our lives today.”
St Heliers Anzac Parade and Service will assemble at Vellenoweth Green at 9:30am and make its way to St Heliers War Memorial on Tamaki Drive for the service to commence at 10am.
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