It was a very special occasion, as our group attended the Anzac Day Ceremony held at Caterpillar Valley Cemetary and in Longueval to honour our New Zealanders fallen on the Western Front.
The New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs was there, as was the New Zealand Ambassador to France and several French personnel from the armed forces and a variety of Mayors.
One of our Ngã Tawa girls, Natalia McGregor, did a reading and it was translated and spoken by a French student, Louise Hatif, with whom one of our girls is staying. They did very well, representing the youth of France and New Zealand, as it said in the official programme.
They also together laid a wreath, after all the dignitaries, on behalf of the youth of France and New Zealand. It was a very moving ceremony.
Later on in the Salle de Ville, the girls had an opportunity to sing the songs they had learnt for the concert held the previous night, with the Maori concert party joining them for He Honare, and the National Anthem. Even the NZ Ambassador joined in to sing along the choir.
The International Concert held last night was very special: a choir from England, Germany and the College Jules Ferry, as well as us, came together to present some individual pieces, songs and a couple of poems, as well as joining all together to sing four other songs, three in English and one in French, accompanied for two of the songs by an orchestra.
There were about one hundred in the combined choir, as well as about forty in the orchestra. One of our girls, Shauna Lane, played violin in the orchestra, next to the leader. We sang three songs, as mentioned He Honare, the National Anthem and the Irish Blessing. Everything was well received by the full capacity crowd. We sang in the Church in Conty, a church dating back from the 15th century. It just sounded fantastic.