Pass­chen­daele com­mem­o­rated


Lower Hutt will host a Pass­chen­daele Cen­te­nary com­mem­o­ra­tion at the ceno­taph on Sat­ur­day, Oc­to­ber 14.

Or­gan­ised by the 7WnHB Reg­i­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion of for­mer army re­serve sol­diers and of­fi­cers from the Welling­ton and the Hawke’s Bay, the Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele com­mem­o­ra­tion will take place from 11am.

It comes two days af­ter the na­tional cer­e­mony and Bel­gian Me­mo­rial un­veil­ing at the Pukeahu Na­tional War Me­mo­rial Park.

Lower Hutt res­i­dent Camp­bell Suther­land, a for­mer army ter­ri­to­rial sergeant, is or­gan­is­ing the lo­cal event.

‘‘Our bat­tal­ion was a Ter­ri­to­rial Force reg­i­ment of the New Zealand Army,’’ he said.

‘‘It was formed in 1964 dur­ing the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the army by the amal­ga­ma­tion of the 5th Welling­ton Reg­i­ment and the 9th Hawke’s Bay Reg­i­ment.’’

A group of ex-mem­bers set up the reg­i­men­tal as­so­ci­a­tion, which to­day is an in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety to or­gan­ise events com­mem­o­rat­ing the World War I cam­paigns in which their pre­de­ces­sors were in­volved, he said.

‘‘In Fe­bru­ary I was tasked with or­gan­is­ing our event for Pass­chen­daele and, from the start, we de­cided on Lower Hutt as the place to do it.

‘‘We wanted some­thing out of town and hav­ing it on the Sat­ur­day will be more con­ve­nient for lo­cals.

‘‘It’s very much a public cer­e­mony and we are hop­ing there will be a good turn out.’’

The as­so­ci­a­tion is also hold­ing a din­ner on the Sat­ur­day evening at the An­zac Lounge of the Pe­tone Work­ing Men’s Club, with a turnout of 60 mem­bers ex­pected.

‘‘The Hutt City Coun­cil had been sup­port­ive and Ray Wal­lace, the mayor, will lay a wreath on be­half of the com­mu­nity,’’ Suther­land said.

New Zealand Cadet Forces and the reg­i­men­tal as­so­ci­a­tion will meet and march at the ceno­taph be­fore a wel­come by Suther­land, a prayer and an ad­dress by Colonel (Rtd) Nick Thornton of the Royal NZ In­fantry Reg­i­ment.

The Last Post will play and, af­ter a minute’s si­lence, the wreaths will be laid, the na­tional an­them heard and a fi­nal march of the colours takes place.

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