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Margaret – Number 61 At Pukerau

The Anzac display put together by Pukerau Primary School pupils.

In its heyday Pukerau, 15 kilometres east of Gore, was the centre for a fl ourishing farming industry. The village had its own baker, retail outlets and a maternity hospital. These days, most of the properties there are occupied by commuters to Gore.

However, the primary school continues to flourish and there there is always a strong attendance at the school’s War Memorial Gates on Anzac Day.

This year more than 80 residents and former residents of the district gathered for a short service conducted by Rev Bruce Cavanagh, a former member of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The ceremony was chaired by Bruce Catto, a local farmer whose family served in the world wars.

Commemorative wreaths were laid by local organisations, including the school, and a local, Vic Herring sounded the Last Post.

Margaret Pullar, a former resident who was attending her 61st Anzac Day service at Pukerau, gave an address on the state of the world and New Zealand’s place.


Former resident Margaret Pullar gave an address at the Pukerau service. This was her 61st Anzac Day service in the village.

After the service there was a chance to view the Roll of Honour in the school, along with an Anzac display produced by the school pupils.

Pukerau Primary School is also the custodian of two historic fl ags – the New Zealand ensign that was wrapped around the body of VC recipient Sgt Dick Travis VC before his burial in France in 1918, and the French tricolour, the national fl ag of France, that was draped over his headstone.

The two fl ags have been on display at the school and are being repaired at the Otago Museum.

They will be the focal point of a permanent display designed by Colleen Watt, a former head teacher at Pukerau Primary. This display will be opened to the public on Anzac Day 2018.