22 April 2013
Cadet Under Officer Abels third from right holding the shield.
Miramar local Brittany Abels, 19, 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 an Anzac Day service on 25 April and a commemoration to mark the 70th anniversary of New Zealand’s involvement in the War in the Pacific on 26 April.
Brittany is a Cadet Under Officer in the TS Amokura Sea Cadet Unit, which she joined in 2006. Her role involves teaching and running activities for the cadets.
The former St Catherine’s College student joined the Unit to meet like minded people and to challenge herself.
"Throughout my years of cadets I have done various things, from learning sea survival skills, radio commands, completing day skippers courses, learning to sail, row, and kayak, as well as tramping and camping," Brittany said.
"One of the most important skills I have learnt is how to be a good leader, whether it is while leading every day activities or a team in a regatta."
Brittany is looking forward to being part of the New Zealand delegation, and in particular to meeting the veterans.
"These are the men that fought for our freedom. No one understands what happened like they do. They deserve to be honoured for their sacrifice and be able to pay tribute to their fellow comrades," Brittany said.
Brittany also loves the outdoors and is currently studying towards a degree in geology and ecology biodiversity, incorporating a lot of the outdoors skills she has learnt in Sea Cadets.
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