As the grand finale in the World War One centenary series, the 2018 Dawn Parade promised to be quite the spectacle – hundreds of Wellingtonians gathered early this morning at war memorial park for the service. Many of those gathered may have been surprised to see a young woman in handmaids’ attire at the back of the Parade procession. As surrogates and domestic servants, handmaids do not usually participate in military processions and events.
I asked the handmaid what she was doing at the Dawn Parade. “I am here to participate in the ceremony,” she stated simply, adding that it is important that handmaids play their role in “honouring the glorious dead” who “gave their lives for God and country” during the “Great War”.
Still finding her appearance rather mysterious, I asked the handmaid what significance the ceremony – remembering those who died during the Allied invasion of Gallipoli in 1915 – might have for a woman of her station. “I am not permitted to speak on such matters,” she said, quickly departing after bowing her head and uttering the words “Under His Eye.”