Among the Kiwis who went to their very first Anzac Day service on Wednesday was a 94-year-old WWII veteran.
Max Skerrett never attended a service before because he didn't have anyone to go with. But he was impressed by the number of people paying their respects.
The Air Force veteran served as a radar mechanic during WWII, working with a small team in the Solomon Islands. But he never felt comfortable taking part in Anzac Day commemorations.
"I think the reason is I didn't know anybody here that was in the Air Force with me. I didn't know anybody here," he says.
After hearing about Mr Skerrett, Awarua RSA president Ian Beker invited him to their citizen's service as a special guest.
"He's quickly adapting, because I've got him inside drinking some rum and coffee. And again that's probably 74 years since he's had a hot rum and coffee," he says.
Mr Skerrett was surprised with the turnout at his first service.
"Yes, I was quite impressed really. I didn't realise how many there were. I was astonished to find so many turn up for this service," he says.
And if he's up to it he'll be back again next year.