ANZACS – We will remember them

We will remember them!

For the past 20 years Challenge 2000 has encouraged our young people to reflect on ANZAC day, what it meant in 1915 and what it means today.

Our focus is on Service, Sacrifice, Peace and Justice and how these are significant values of our country – now and then.

Much time is spent on learning about WWI and WWII in particular and how these wars shaped the psyche and soul of Aotearoa New Zealand.  Then a play is workshopped, practiced and delivered in centres and churches.  What happens is incredible.  The “actors” actually absorb the identity of those young men and women who served overseas.  Flanders Field becomes real to the “soldier” and the mum and children who stayed at home know the pain and fear of waiting.  The nurse writing the letter for Reg on board the hospital ship leaving Gallipoli is moved to tears as Reg says how his younger brother was killed on the beach.

Kids playing


20160424_192318 20160424_191819 20160424_192252The haka by a soldier of the Maori Battalion at El Alamein honours his dead comrade and beings the spirit of his ancestors alive again.

Words can’t describe it really – but our young people grew as they discovered the history, feelings and courage, fear, pain and reality of War and its wide ranging effects.

Now we need to not just remember but to act so that all can have the quality and type of life that others were prepared to serve and die for.

Will you serve? Will you sacrifice? The challenge is there. Worth thinking about – worth acting on!


And the conversations weren’t all serious…………………

Conversation in a vehicle:

Sam, 7, who acts as a boy in 1945: “When I take Under Mike by the hand – shall I say come and see my poster of Aaron Cruden?”

Luke, staff member: “Ummm maybe don’t say Aaron Cruden cos he wasn’t alive in 1945”

Sam: “Shall I say Christian Cullen?”

Luke: “No I don’t think Christian is that old either! Maybe you just say rugby stuff?”

Sam: “Yeah maybe the All Blacks weren’t invented them!!!”


Flanders Field



“They ask me where I’ve been

And what I’ve done and seen.

But what can I reply

Who knows it wasn’t I,

But someone just like me,

Who went across the sea

And with my head and these hands

Killed men in foreign lands ……..

Though I must bear the blame

Because he bore my name.”

Poem by Wilfrid Gibson


Service and Sacrifice

We will Remember them

Challenge 2000 facilitated ANZAC themed Masses in the Archdiocese of Wellington at; San Antonio Eastbourne, St Patrick’s Masterton, Ss Peter and Paul Johnsonville, St Anne’s Newtown and the Sacred Heart Cathedral Wellington. 60 Young people – staff, volunteers, Gap students, Wairarapa locals and students from Chanel College, St Patricks School and Carterton, produced moving performances that recognised and remembered those who served and made sacrifices, both overseas and at home during various wars.

One of the key lines from the drama was “when you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today”. The emphasis was also that while remembering is important, it is even more important that we honour them by choosing to live lives of service and sacrifice today.





ANZAC fern

Gap Year Students Honour the ANZACs

TIMG_0342-2oday a group of Gap Year Students attended the Australian Memorial Dedication at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park with Kitty McKinley.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key and the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott attended with other special guests such as “Willie” Apiata VC, Members of 1-IMG_0347-001Parliament and also Service men and women. The service started with the march on, of both the New Zealand and Australian Defence Forces, a moving beginning to the ceremony, followed by the welcome. John Key and Tony Abbott both spoke very well and gave their own meaning on the special friendship we share with Australia, as allies in war – mentioning that this friendship doesn’t always extend to the sports field!
The main message that we received from the two prime ministers is our countries are old friends. When push comes to shove, no matter what the score was in the rugby test the week before, we will always have each other’s back, no matter how much banter we throw at each other.

1-IMG_0350-001The memorial was beautiful, a fitting piece to remember the soldiers of Australia who also laid their lives on the line for us, the future generations. The ceremony then continued on with a blessing and a prayer to protect the memorial and officially open it. Overall the experience was amazing, it wasa privilege to stand side by side with our fellow Australians physically and spiritually to remember those who have gone before us.

“oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet – to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the Faith

With All who died.”

We can say thank you to the fallen soldiers “For giving their tomorrow for our today”. With our hearts and arms open we hold the torch of light and justice for this world to be a better place. Gap Students 2015

Te Papa 2

After the Australian Memorial Dedication service we headed down to Te Papa and waited in line for over 45 minutes to explore the new exhibition called GALLIPOLI The Scale Of Our War. It was great that so many people are going to see this.

We did this to increase our understanding of what the ANZACs went through, and to develop an awareness of how we are the beneficiaries of their service and sacrifice 100 years later.Te Papa 1

Inside the exhibition there were things such as models that are the size of two humans made at the Weta Caves. There were 6 models which all had a different part to play in the war, as we got to each model there was a recorder speaking their stories and experiences they had faced. There was an electronic diagram that reenacted what weapons had the most affect on their bodies and you could see what weapon was more powerful. We got a small sense of what war was like

And had lots of different feelings, thoughts and questions.

As we carried on through the exhibition we walked through a recreated trench, we could feelTe Papa 3 and hear the vibrations of the bombs and guns. There were also windows that had videos playing showing different soldiers experiences inside the trenches. These were our ancestors, family members…a lot to think about!

At the end there was another model of a solider who had survived the war. He was kneeling and had his hand on his heart. You were able to write a message on a red poppy and you were able to keep it or place it on the statue. This was very touching for all of us, as most of us have ancestors that took part in the war. This has got us thinking about how we would have reacted if we were forced or volunteered to go to war or to say goodbye to the people we love.

They gave up their today for our tomorrow.

ANZAC 2015 -3


As we celebrated 99 years of the battle of ANZAC cove, we had the opportunity to be involved with 3 Anzac day mass reflections and attend a memorial celebration in Havelock North.
Each year on ANZAC day we are reminded that we are all called to be people of love and peace and to remember and honour those who have gone before us.

ANZAC 1 (2)
This day gives us a chance for our younger generation to remember alongside past war veterans. In Havelock North we had an opportunity to meet 3 war veterans, the oldest being 97 and our youngest being 5.
Over the ANZAC weekend three masses took place, one in Hawkes Bay and two in Wellington, Eastbourne and Johnsonville.
Our staff, Gap year students and young people from both Wellington and Hawkes bay presented a drama at all 3 masses. This drama was a time when we reflected on the many lives lost, the suffering and pain experienced by our small country. We remembered the great sacrifice our soldiers and their families made so that the generations that followed could live in peace.


ANZAC 4 (2) ANZAC 5 (2)

We are each called to remember those who served for our country and acknowledge those who continue to serve today.
We will remember them


We Remember…

A time gone past, we remember when,

a war was fought by many great men.

A land of peace, where love can grow

all of this, because we know

You walked, you ran, you took aim

you fought a war to uphold our name

New Zealand and Australia combined

Courage, endurance and mateship refined.

On scarred earth you laid down your lives

never to return to child or wife

our lives owed to you and to you we yeild

May you rest in peace, in Flanders Field.

~ by Ivan 

On Wednesday 23rd we had an ANZAC Commemoration Activity Day and gathered together at Newlands Community Centre where we explored the significance of ANZAC day through various activities.

The day started with a power point that had photos and facts from 1914-1916 which assisted the young people to start reflecting on ANZAC day and why New Zealand stop to commemorate it and the soldiers. From there the young people were split into groups and we did various activities; baking ANZAC biscuits, writing a response (see poem above) to the poem In Flanders Field, making a canvas “wreath” to honour the fallen and group discussions about War and Peace and what that looks like today.


IMAG0470After we had lunch and sampling a few of the biscuits, we packaged our ANZAC biscuits and went out into the Johnsonville community and gave them to some of those who serve our community; Police, Fire Station, Johnsonvale Rest Home and Challenge 2000 Administration. The young people enjoyed giving the biscuits away – some saying that seeing the smile and joy on the elderly people’s faces really made their day!


Our final activity was to head to Karori Cemetery to the Servicemen’s section. The young people walked around the graves taking in the names of those that had served our country. It was a day of reflection and most of the young people were grateful for the day and felt they had learnt much.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Karori Grave Karori Grave 2 Karori Cemetery

April Holiday Activity Days

Challenge 2000 will be holding holiday activity days these April school holidays. Spaces will be limited so please make sure you book in fast.

Wednesday 23rd April – ANZAC Commemoration Activity Day. This day will start off at Newlands Community Centre where we will bake some ANZAC biscuits to share with people, learn more about ANZAC and the significance it has to us today and then we will visit the War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown solider. The day will begin at 9am and finish at 4pm. Spaces are limited to 25 young people aged from 10 – 18 years old.

Wednesday 30th April – Team Challenge Day. In teams we will have to face different challenges to see which team comes out on top! The day will begin here at Challenge 2000 at 9am and ends at 5pm. Spaces are limited to 30 young people aged from 10 – 18 years old.

If you would like more information or would like to register your young person, please contact Bridget Masoe on 477 0045.

ANZAC 2013

On Anzac Day, Challenge 2000 Hawkes Bay and 12 local young people put on a drama in both Havelock North and Napier with the theme of “remembering our ancestors who served our country by doing the same in this millennium”.  Both plays were received well by those who attended and many older and younger people were moved to tears.

A different team acted in a similar drama at Eastbourne and Johnsonville on Saturday and Sunday 27/28 April.  Once again it was well received by everyone present.  Many people remarked on the connection between the service and sacrifice of our Anzac ancestors who died overseas or came home to build a better nation and the young people’s challenge today to be people who serve and bring about justice and peace.

This photo taken in Johnsonville speaks for itself.

ANZAC Drama, Johnsonville

ANZAC Drama, Johnsonville



Anzac Drama Napier











Newlands Community Centre

The youth at Newlands Community Centre celebrated ANZAC Day by cooking up a storm! On Friday the 27th of April a group of guys and a group of girls each set out to bake a batch of ANZAC biscuits. Both groups showed great teamwork and problem solving skills. Each came across a different obstacle and managed to come up with a solution which resulted in yumminess! The four trays of golden biscuits smelt amazing and patience was tested all round whilst waiting for them to cool down. They were worth the wait! Looking forward to see what the young people can conjure up next.

ANZAC Remembrance

San Antonio Catholic Church, Eastbourne on Saturday 21st April at 5.30pm.

St Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church, Johnsonville on Sunday 22nd April at 10.30am.

This weekend we are holding special ANZAC liturgies, as specified above. We will be remembering and honouring our family and ancestors who served overseas in war or as peace-keepers in our Defence forces. If you would like to ring or email Therese with your family members name/s or place their names in our special ANZAC box in the church foyer then they will be mentioned during the Mass.

We would also like to create a prayerful display of any wartime photos, medals, and diaries. Ideally these things would be best dropped in to our Challenge 2000 Youth and Family Centre at 27 Dr Taylor Tce, next door to the parish during the coming week before the mass. We understand that these will be treasured items and we promise to treat them as such. Feel free to call 477 0045 or email with ways you would like to contribute.