This year’s events continue New Zealand’s World War 100 commemorations – remembering 100 years on from the First World War. 1918 marks the last year of battle, with the guns finally falling silent on 11 November, when an Armistice was agreed upon.
An organising committee made up of Palmerston North RSA representatives, Palmerston North Heritage Advisory Group, Manawatū iwi - Rangitane, Council staff and defence staff from RNZAF Base Ohakea and Linton Military Camp have been working together for several months to ensure the two city services are run seamlessly. An official welcome and blessing will be performed by Rangitane at both services.
The day will begin with the Dawn Service. Participants including RSA members, veterans and serving (uniformed) personnel are expected to form-up outside the All Saints Church at 5.30am before marching to the Cenotaph in the Square.
Lieutenant Commander Adam Flaws, RNZN, Executive Officer, NZ Defence College, Palmerston North will deliver the main address. He will be followed by Mosiah Igatia, a student at Awatapu College.
After the Dawn Service, the Cosmopolitan Club in Linton Street will open for breakfast and toastings from 7am.
At 9am, the Civic Commemoration Service will be held, also at the Cenotaph. Those wanting to march in the parade for this service should gather outside All Saint’s Church at 8.15am.
Group Captain Shaun Sexton, Base Commander, RNZAF Base Ohakea will deliver the main address and will be followed by a speech from Hana Te Puni, a Palmerston North Girls' High School student.
Morning tea for the community will be served after the Civic Service at 10.15am at the Conference and Function Centre, where Mayor Grant Smith will deliver a short address. The Cosmopolitan Club will also be open for those wanting to attend activities for the remainder of the day.
At both services there will be tiered seating available, a large screen to relay live footage, and display words for songs. There will also be a sign language interpreter in attendance.
Service sheets will be distributed prior to each service. These can also be printed at home from ww1.pncc.govt.nz or accessed on mobile devices on the day.
Other services being held in or around the city are:
- Bunnythorpe: Cenotaph – 9.30am Community Service
- Ashhurst: Village Green – 6am Dawn Service and 12pm Civic Service
- Linton Military Camp: 6am Dawn Service
- Māori Battalion Hall: Cuba Street, 10.30am: Please bring a plate of food to contribute to the shared morning tea following the service