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Students take part in Veterans' Day 29 June 2008

STUDENTS from the Island’s five secondary schools were proud participants in Veterans’ Day today (Sunday).

Around 70 students and their teachers took part in the march along Douglas’s promenades, held in glorious sunshine, and attended the church service that followed it at the Villa Marina.

Lena Dohvoma, a Year 9 student at St Ninian’s High School, opened the service, on the theme of ‘Hope for the Future’, by reading the remarkable story of one Isle of Man veteran of World War Two, Ken Kennaugh, who served in Burma as a member of the ‘Forgotten Army’. Emily Connors, who is in Year 12 at Ramsey Grammar School, read the poem The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy. Veterans Day 2008

Children from Years 5 and 6 at Foxdale Primary School also took part in the service, singing Friends Across the World and I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. The former was written by Headteacher Stuart Lambie and pupils.

The church service was led by the Archdeacon of Man, the Venerable Brian Smith, who is the Royal British Legion’s Isle of Man county chaplain, and the sermon was read by the Island's new Lord Bishop, the Right Reverend Robert Paterson.

The service was attended by His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Vice-Admiral Sir Paul Haddacks and Lady Haddacks, Chief Minister the Hon Tony Brown MHK and Education Minister the Hon Anne Craine MHK, among many dignitaries.

Members of 12 Regiment the Royal Artillery, some of whom are newly returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, took part in the events.

Veterans’ Day was established by the UK Government in 2006 to celebrate the service given to the country by veterans of the three services in both peace and war. The Isle of Man Government was pleased to follow suit and proclaimed the last Sunday in June as Veterans’ Day on the Island. A committee headed by ex MHK Brigadier Norman Butler CBE organised this afternoon’s march and service and the veterans’ tea and concert that follow it tonight, which will feature singing from Joe Crookall, 13, a pupil at Queen Elizabeth II High School.

It is the first year all five secondary schools have taken part in the celebrations.

A film crew from St Ninian's High School interviewed veterans.

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