Margaret – Number 61 At Pukerau
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.
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.