Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Pilgrimage from Niue

Yesterday, 12 September 2016, we could host a group of 16 from Niue. Commissioner General for the commemoration of WWI in Belgium, Paul Breyne, Last Post Association Chairman Benoit Mottrie MNZM and New Zealand Pilgrimage Trust Director Freddy Declerck MNZM were talking about commemoration and remembrance with the group.
Afterwards they have been under the Menin Gate to commemorate all the people who died during WWI thay were given a very important role standing in the middle of the road under the Menin Gate they song a hymn and the Hon.Pokotoa SIPEL,  Minister of  Social Services said the Ode.

Wreath laying was done by the Minister, the President of the Niue RSA and one of the women who were with them. After the ceremony, the Minister was thanking the buglers and giving them a traditional shell bread.

Today, 13 September, we have gone to the graves of the two Nuieans to pay our respect to them.

It was a short but moving ceremony the group did. we have been assisted by the Mayor of Bailleul, Mr. Marc DENEUCHE, the deputy ayor Mr. Bernard HEYMAN and councillor  Mr. Jean CORDONNIER, Mr. Gérard LEMAIRE who is a local historian who did a lot of research on Bailleul, we Souvenir Française was represented. Another good friend and passionated about WWI, Dominique BASCOURS was there to take some photos of the ceremony. Mrs Noella TAHON from Staple was also paying her respect during the ceremony. She was the driving force for the remembrance service for Charlie HILLMAN on the 20th of  August.
the ceremony started with singing and praying, after thise was a speech of the Mayor, Mr. Lemaire was giving the historical context. The Hon Pokotoa SIPEL,  Minister of  Social Services from Niue was thanking the people of France and Belgium.

There was also a wreath laying sequence done by the French hosts. The ceremony was closed by a prayer and a hymn.
The people of Niue were very grateful and are now heading for Arras and Thursday 15 September
they will be at Longueval for the New Zealand official Somme commemoration.


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