6 November 2018
Dunedin man Shane Parker’s role with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Reserves has taken him from Otago to the Sinai desert and Antarctica.
He has also just been in France, as a member of the NZDF contingent marking the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Le Quesnoy.
Warrant Officer Class Two Parker is a member of the 7th Wellington (City of Wellington’s Own) and Hawke’s Bay Battalion’s Regimental Colour Party. The Colour carries the battle honour of Sambre (Le Quesnoy) and was paraded during the National Commemorative Service and Last Post Ceremony on Sunday.
“5th/7th Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, has a long history and to commemorate the final major action of a long and bloody war 100 years ago makes me humble and proud,” Warrant Officer Parker said.
Warrant Officer Parker, who joined the Otago Reserve unit 40 South in the 1980s, had no idea at the time of the opportunities he would be offered as a member of the Reserve Forces.
“Along with a busy civilian career and raising a family, I’ve also had the chance to serve in the desert of North Africa, deploy to the ice of Antarctica, and support the people of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake,” he said.
Military service is a tradition in his family. His grandfather, father, brother and now his son have all served with the NZDF.
“I’m incredibly proud of my family’s service and seeing the tradition carry on in the next generation,” he said.
The official commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Le Quesnoy included the National Commemorative Service at 11am (11pm NZ time) on Sunday and a Last Post Ceremony at 5pm (5am Monday NZ time).