We still re­mem­ber them

Hamilton News - - NEWS -

A del­e­ga­tion from the city of Ieper (Ypres) will be at the Armistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tion in Hamil­ton at the city’s cen­te­nary re­mem­brance ser­vice on Novem­ber 11.

Last year, Hamil­ton in­stalled an Ieper Gar­den at Me­mo­rial Park to thank the Bel­gian city for the way they con­tinue to hon­our fallen New Zealand sol­diers, while Ieper is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a Hamil­ton Park in their city.

Hamil­ton mayor An­drew King vis­ited Ieper this year and turned the first sod on the project, and planted New Zealand na­tive trees.

The mayor will be joined on Sun­day by Luc De­haene, a for­mer mayor of Ieper, and for­mer Hamil­ton coun­cil­lor Peter Bos — who was in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing links be­tween the cities, with all three to speak at the ser­vice.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to com­mit again to the avoid­ance of con­flict wher­ever pos­si­ble and to deepen our al­ready close bonds with the Bel­gian city of Ieper, an area where many Waikato sol­diers served,” Mr King said.

A spe­cial fea­ture at the cer­e­mony will be the re­cre­ation of the roar­ing cho­rus of cel­e­bra­tory sounds that was a fea­ture of the Armistice Day an­nounce­ment in in 1918.

“The ob­ser­va­tion of two min­utes’ si­lence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month will have par­tic­u­lar res­o­nance this year,” Mr King said.

“We’ll also aim to cap­ture the spirit of cel­e­bra­tion at war’s end with our own roar­ing cho­rus in Hamil­ton.”

The ser­vice will in­clude the bury­ing of a time cap­sule at Me­mo­rial Park. Among its con­tents will be per­sonal items of war mem­o­ra­bilia from the fore­bears of lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple who made do­na­tions to the Ieper me­mo­rial project, along with sto­ries about the Hamil­ton busi­nesses in­volved.

A me­mo­rial grave­stone gifted to Hamil­ton by Ieper and the Ieper War Graves Com­mis­sion will this year, for the first time, be in place in the Ieper Gar­den for Armistice Day.

Three hun­dred named white crosses will be dis­played in me­mory of the Hamil­ton peo­ple who died in the con­flict.

The fam­ily out­door con­cert and com­mu­nity pic­nic to fol­low the ser­vice will fea­ture brass bands, choirs, songs and mu­sic from the World War I era, and old­style games such as egg and spoon and sack races. Pur­ple pop­pies rep­re­sent­ing an­i­mals who died in the con­flict will be avail­able from the War Horse Trust in the af­ter­noon. Horses will be in at­ten­dance be­side the War Horse me­mo­rial, which mem­bers of the pub­lic can in­ter­act with.

The ser­vice gets un­der way at 10.15am at Me­mo­rial Park on River Rd.

From 10am to 2pm at Waikato Mu­seum the pub­lic can join mem­bers of the Waikato Em­broi­der­ers’ Guild and con­tribute to the 45th panel of the Mt Fe­lix Ta­pes­try by adding a stitch or two.

In Welling­ton, a na­tional cer­e­mony will be held at 10.45am which will in­clude a 100-Gun Salute

The salute on the Welling­ton water­front in front of Te Papa will start the cer­e­mony. The fir­ing is sym­bol­i­cally timed to fin­ish at 11am when the guns fell silent 100 years ago.

Photo / Peter Tiffany

An hon­our guard at the Ceno­taph at Me­mo­rial Park in Hamil­ton on Armistice Day last year.

Photo / Tom Row­land

The Ieper (Ypres) Me­mo­rial Gar­den was opened in Hamil­ton last year to thank the Bel­gium city for the way they re­mem­ber fallen New Zealand sol­diers.

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