Brass bands’ Square-bash a real blast
Thousands turned up for the performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in The Square and the 60th Palmerston North Charter Parade, both held on Saturday. MurrayWilson went along.
Thousands of people lined city streets in the heart of Palmerston North to watch a full-on bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and swords drawn military parade.
Saturday’s celebrations were to commemorate and reconfirm the 1956 charters that granted Linton Military Camp and the Ohakea air force base the right to parade in the city.
About 100 soldiers and airmen from Linton and Ohakea marched in the parade from outside Cafe Express, around The Square and past the cenotaph.
Ohakea base commander Group Captain Nick Olney said the idea to have the combined event resulted from a meeting between the two camps.
‘‘It was an opportunity for us to demonstrate to our local community how joint we are.’’
It was the first time both services had together marked the individual charters that were bestowed upon Linton and and Ohakea 60 years ago.
In the evening an estimated 3000 people packed out The Square to see the artillarypunctuated orchestral performance of the 1812 Overture that capped the day’s celebrations.
Zandra Turner from the Palmerston North events team said the occasion was a wonderful day for the community.
Mayor Grant Smith said the Defence Force had a significant Manawatu presence, with Linton now the largest military camp in the country.
‘‘This is a great opportunity to recognise those who dedicate their lives to serving our country and to celebrate the strong relationship the city holds with Linton Military Camp, RNZAF Base Ohakea, and the New Zealand Defence College.’’
Smith said the Defence Force provided hundreds of jobs in Manawatu and injected millions of dollars into the regional economy.
‘‘With all the building around Linton, Ohakea and the Defence College, there will be hundreds of millions of dollars spent here over the next six to 10 years, with considerably more to come.’’
The 16th Field Regiment artillery during the concert performing Tchiakovsky’s musical tribute to the Russian army.
Air Force and Army personnel during the performance of the ‘1812 Overture’.
The New Zealand Army Band combine with Palmerston North Brass Band.
Mayor Grant Smith inspects the honour guard at the Charter Parade.
An air force flyover of The Square.