Tuesday, 12 October 2010

12 October - Remembrance Day for the fallen New Zealanders in Passchendaele

Jo Kane reporting:

Today the Waimakariri Passhendaele Trust in conjunction with the combined RSA held a service to commemorate the links forged between our two countries during the first world war but importantly on the 12 October
I know that Don Staples in Wellington has organised a similar service , as have the Auckland connection.
We will together lift the prominence of this day in New Zelands history
We will be thinking of you all today

the picture is from Luke Thomas, The Christchurch Mail

Don Staples reporting:

I am very pleased to report that we held a commemoration for the Passchendaele Offensive this morning at the National War Memorial in Wellington.

Attending were Belgium Ambassador, H.E. Mr Patrick Renault, First Secretary, Ms Sophie Hottat , Honorary Consul Mr Don Staples and Consulate Secretary Mr John Rolls. From the National War Memorial were the Chairman, Rear Admiral David Ledson (rtd) and Curator Mr Paul Riley. From the NZ Returned and Services’ Association, Mrs Margaret Snow and New Zealand Army, Colonel Mike Shapland. Also attending was the retired Belgian Consul Mr Rowland Woods and his wife Anita.

The order of ceremony was as follows:

· Respects paid at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.

· Tolling of the Peace Bell (by me) during which Admiral Ledson escorted the party into the Hall of Memories.

· Laying of wreath by H.E. Renault and H.Consul Staples

· The Last Post - sounded by NZ Air Force Bugler

· The Ode recited by RSA representative, Mrs Margaret Snow

· Reveille

· HE signed the Visitors' Book

· Laying of poppies on Tomb of the Unknown Warrior
Particularly poignant was the sounding of the Peace Bell and the Last Post which resonated mystically within the beautiful marble lined confines of the memorial

Iain MacKenzie reporting:

I have just returned from our Commemoration Service at the Cenotaph outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum. It felt just right. We had a meeting afterwards in the Museum and there was agreement that we should repeat this type of commemoration service next year with something a bit more special in 2012 and of course 2017.

There was a wish for a bit more formality in the organising group with people indicating a preference for an " Auckland Passchendaele Society" which would meet more regularly so the next meeting will be hosted by the 3rd Auckland and Northland Regiment and we will further that idea.

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