22 April 2013
Nelson local Grace Winnington, 17, is one of two New Zealand Sea Cadets travelling to New Caledonia next week to attend commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of New Zealand’s involvement in the War in the Pacific
Nelson local Grace Winnington, 17, is one of two New Zealand Sea Cadets travelling to New Caledonia next week to attend commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of New Zealand’s involvement in the War in the Pacific.
Eighty-four veterans, aged 86 to 96, who served New Zealand in the Pacific are being funded by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand to attend the commemorations on 25 and 26 April 2013.
Grace is a Warrant Officer in the T.S. Talisman Sea Cadet Unit, which she joined in 2008. She is responsible for morale, maintaining standards, delegating tasks, and mentoring senior cadets within the unit.
Grace, who is homeschooled, joined the Unit after hearing that one of the major focuses was sailing.
"As a senior cadet, I am a trained Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) instructor, and assist in training the junior cadets using the YNZ Learn to Sail programme," Grace said.
"My time is divided between instructing junior cadets, and taking part in leadership development classes and boating courses."
Grace is looking forward to being part of the New Zealand delegation, representing the youth of New Zealand, and in particular to commemorating Anzac Day in Noumea.
"Commemorating Anzac Day in Noumea will definitely be a new experience. I imagine that as we honour such a monumental occasion on foreign ground, I will have a stronger sense of what the veterans experienced as they left their friends, family, and their home country for one unfamiliar and filled with war," Grace said.
Grace also enjoys music, church, and the outdoors. She plays the piano, violin, and flute, and is a member of Nelson’s chamber youth orchestra where she plays the violin.
Nearly 25,000 New Zealanders fought in the Pacific War, which began with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941, and ended with the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.
The New Zealand Navy, Army and Air Force were all involved in combat operations in the Pacific, and more than 900 personnel became casualties.
The delegation departs Whenuapai for Noumea on 23 April 2013, and will return on 27 April 2013.
For further information please contact Emma Horsley – Defence Communications Group, on 021 409 033