Vows in tune with Ar­mistice Day

Marlborough Express - - NEWS - MIKE BAIN

The at­mos­phere at Ar­mistice Day in the Waikato was full of the sound of gun­fire, clash­ing swords, raised voices but also mu­sic and love was in the air.

Peo­ple came from all parts of New Zealand to Lake Kara­piro near Cam­bridge to ex­pe­ri­ence the week­end event.

On Sat­ur­day, many took the chance to be part of re-en­act­ments, de­pict­ing bat­tles across many con­flicts in the past 100 years.

Oth­ers came just to view the mock bat­tle, to learn a bit about his­tory and why it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber Novem­ber 11 as the end of World War I.

But for one Hamil­ton cou­ple, it was to ex­change vows.

Mark Vuletich and San­dra Jensen were mar­ried in a set­ting rem­i­nis­cent of a love scene from a Hol­ly­wood war movie.

Jensen ar­rived by Jeep to the Long-Range Desert Group mock head­quar­ters at the lake, greeted by her groom and a few hun­dred spec­ta­tors.

The cer­e­mony took place against the back­drop of a desert camp, com­plete with a sol­dier clean­ing his ri­fle.

Gun­fire also filled the air as celebrant Jeremy May­all in­tro­duced the mar­ried cou­ple.

May­all re­marked af­ter­wards it was one of the most un­usual set­tings he had brought two peo­ple to­gether and was ‘‘my first shot­gun wed­ding’’.

To the de­light of the crowd, San­dra Vuletich turned her back and, as was the cus­tom of the time, threw her bri­dal bou­quet into the crowd.

Else­where, young­sters were able to ‘‘en­list’’ in the army and take their place in mock bat­tles com­plete with flour bombs and pa­per swords.

In­side the nearby Don Row­lands Cen­tre, it was army sur­plus heaven with uni­forms, shell cas­ings and weaponry of all de­scrip­tions.

Up­stairs, mini bat­tle scenes were staged and model war toys and kit sets were avail­able for those DIY en­thu­si­asts.

Out­side in the car park area, singers per­formed pop­u­lar wartime tunes, ac­com­pa­nied by dancers.

Static dis­plays were on show and a huge ar­ray of mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles were parked up ready for in­spec­tion.

Fea­tured were the FV103 Spar­tan and M8 Stu­art Light Tank, among oth­ers.

More events were held at Lake Kara­piro on Sun­day.

PHO­TOS: MIKE BAIN

It was a wartime wed­ding for Mark Vuletich and San­dra Jensen as they ex­changed vows in front of mar­riage celebrant Jeremy May­all.

A sa­lute to the past from Aimee, left, and Lucy Steele from Hamil­ton at the Ar­mistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tions in Cam­bridge.

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