A trip to Tinui was tempting on this special day – that’s where the first Anzac Day service was held

The Anzac Day cross above Tinui township, a 40-minute drive east of Masterton,

The Anzac Day cross above Tinui township, not too far from Alf’s home. 

First priority for Alf today was to get down to the Anzac Day service at 10am.

The Grumbles had been tempted to go to Tinui, on this 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, but opted to stick with the home town’s service.

Tinui was tempting because it’s not too far from Eketahuna and plays a proud role in the history of  Anzac Day: 

In 1916, the Rev Basil Ashcroft held the first Anzac Day commemoration in the Tinui Church of the Good Shepherd, before leading villagers to the top of Mt. Maunsell (Tinui Taipo as it is known locally) to erect a permanent memorial. That wooden cross became the first Anzac memorial of its type in New Zealand and stood on the hilltop for nearly 50 years before an aluminium cross replaced it in 1965.  Forty-eight people from the village died in the two world wars.  Visit our Anzac page to find out more.

What’s more, according to this report at Stuff, farmers and landowners in the Tinui district of the Wairarapa were praised for creating a walkway across their land to the historic Tinui Anzac Cross.

After noting that the cross was built in 1916 on top of Mount Maunsell, Stuff said:.

It has long been a tradition for locals to walk the three kilometres from the Tinui cemetery to the cross on Anzac Day, but in recent years numbers have grown.

Chairman of the Tinui Parish Anzac Trust, Alan Emerson, said the Trust had wanted to establish informal access to the cross for a number of years, and a route through Tinui Forest Park and a neighbouring farm belonging to Mike and Lesley Hodgins proved most suitable.

The walkway has been developed thanks to a voluntary effort by local people, along with contributions of materials and other resources from many individuals and organisations.

“The landowners have been superb, we couldn’t have asked for more,” Emerson said.

The Trust is charged with looking after the memorial and the walkway.

Emerson told Stuff at least 50 members of the Tinui community had helped fashion the track, including bulldozing, landscape gardening, building huts, putting in steps and gates and felling trees.

The track stretches from the Tinui cemetery to the 358-metre high summit of Mt Maunsell, which Tinui Station landowners Kelso and Jane Rushton are in the process of donating to the trust for public access.

Harriet Palmer, one of a team of partners in farm forest Tinui Forest Park, said she wanted to spread the message of the heritage of the cross and the fact people could now access it more easily.

“This has been an amazing community initiative and a credit to the perseverance of a small group of people to keep Anzac as part of Tinui’s heritage. We now have a fantastic asset running through our forest,” Palmer said.

In recent years up to 1000 people have attended the ceremony at the cemetery.

Emerson predicted a high turnout for the Gallipoli landings centenary.

Alf would like to have joined them but he could not have got to Tinui in time. Their service was at 10.30am.

Alas, Tinui wasn’t mentioned in the RSA’s online guide to Anzac Day services.  Mrs Grumble had gone there in her online quest to find more information about the time, who was speaking and so on.

If Harriet wants to spread the word, maybe she should give the RSA a call.

But Alf notes that Ele, at Homepaddock, included Stuff’s report on the Tinui cross among her rural roundup posts this week.

Good for her.

One Response to A trip to Tinui was tempting on this special day – that’s where the first Anzac Day service was held

  1. rick kellow says:

    Maybe Mrs Grumble couldn’t find details of the Tinui Anzac service on the RSA’s online guide to Anzac Day services was because it wasn’t a RSA service, but all the info was on the Destination Tinui website.

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