Ar­mistice day,

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

On Ar­mistice Day, Sun­day, bells will ring out for the Ar­mistice Cen­te­nary across New Zealand.

Fox­ton Lit­tle Theatre will ring the bell in its home — a for­mer Pres­by­te­rian church built in 1867, and the old­est build­ing still in use in the Manawatu¯ -Horowhenua area. The bell has not been rung since the 1970s.

Bell­tow­ers will be ring­ing out in the Roar­ing Cho­rus for WW100, join­ing Ar­mistice bell­ring­ing cam­paigns across the world. At 11.02am on Sun­day, a ca­cophony of joy­ful noise will break the twominute si­lence of re­mem­brance be­ing ob­served na­tion­wide at 11am, re­cap­tur­ing the new­found peace and hope for the fu­ture that the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice brought.

New Zealand’s Roar­ing Cho­rus con­nects with a cam­paign led by the UK gov­ern­ment, sup­ported by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, invit­ing na­tions to par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional bell­ring­ing. Other coun­tries in­clud­ing the USA are con­tribut­ing, and even the re­mote lo­ca­tion of Rothera Re­search Sta­tion in the Antarc­tic is ex­pected to join in.

Churches across New Zealand will join in. In Christchurch, where the city’s cathe­dral was badly dam­aged af­ter the Fe­bru­ary 2011 earth­quake and its bells are still in­op­er­a­ble, its ringers have formed a band with those at St Paul’s in Pa­panui where they will ring a quar­ter peal of Plain Bob Ma­jor.

St An­drew’s Angli­can Church will also ring out dur­ing Ar­mistice com­mem­o­ra­tions in Cam­bridge — the sis­ter city of Le Ques­noy — as will First Church of Otago in Dunedin, and many smaller churches na­tion­wide.

Rev­erend Ja­cyn­thia Mur­phy con­vinced her parish at St Martin’s at St Chad’s in San­dring­ham to re­store its church bell so it could par­tic­i­pate. The bell had long been silent af­ter its rope had frayed and fi­nally sev­ered, but last month Frank Bart­ley — the parish’s 80-year-old trea­surer — climbed a tall lad­der and twisted him­self into the tower to fix it.

Sarah Davies, di­rec­tor of the First World War Cen­te­nary Pro­gramme WW100, re­ports many churches have reg­is­tered Ar­mistice Cen­te­nary events at

“It is fan­tas­tic that so many bell­ringers are join­ing the Roar­ing Cho­rus. New Zealand will be among the first coun­tries in the world to com­mem­o­rate the Ar­mistice Cen­te­nary, and our bells will be echoed around the world as other na­tions con­trib­ute the sound of theirs. It will be poignantly beau­ti­ful.”

The Rangi­marie peace bell of the Na­tional War Memo­rial Car­il­lon will toll 11 times to mark the start of the twominute si­lence of re­mem­brance at 11am at the of­fi­cial Ar­mistice Cen­te­nary Na­tional Cer­e­mony in Welling­ton.

At 11.02am, there will be a cel­e­bra­tory fan­fare played by the full bells of the car­il­lon, in uni­son with the Roar­ing Cho­rus across New Zealand.

A car­il­lon is the largest mu­si­cal in­stru­ment in the world, and Welling­ton’s is the third largest car­il­lon in the world.

His­toric ac­counts show that there was spon­ta­neous bell­ring­ing in cel­e­bra­tion of peace at the time of the Ar­mistice.

A 1918 let­ter writ­ten by a Kinloch girl to her lo­cal news­pa­per says: “The steamer Ben Lomond be­gan to whis­tle com­ing up the lake when the news of peace came through. Mum got the cow­bell and I got the school bell, and we made a great noise with them.” (Otago Wit­ness, 27-11-1918).

In com­mem­o­ra­tions na­tion­wide, thou­sands are ex­pected to make ju­bi­lant noise with vin­tage car horns, can­nons, wa­iata, cheers, whis­tles, hoot­ers and even pots and pans. Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand and New Zealand Po­lice have in­vited avail­able fire ap­pli­ances and po­lice cars to ring their sirens, and Mar­itime New Zealand has in­vited ves­sels in New Zealand wa­ters to join the com­mem­o­ra­tion with their horns. Blue­bridge Cook Strait Fer­ries and In­ter­is­lander fer­ries will be sound­ing their horns, as will Ki­wiRail’s scenic and freight trains.

The Welling­ton Com­bined So­ci­ety of Bell Ringers is set to ring a 45-minute quar­ter peal at Welling­ton Cathe­dral of St Paul. Canon Si­mon Winn has de­vised ‘A Ser­vice of Re­mem­brance and Com­mit­ment to Peace’ prior, in­cor­po­rat­ing pe­riod mu­sic and po­etry, soldiers’ re­flec­tion and state­ments from the Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral and Prime Min­is­ter which are avail­able to the pub­lic. Wor­ship­pers will crowd on to the cathe­dral steps with hand­bells, whis­tles, drums and voices to add to the Roar­ing Cho­rus while the bells peal over­head.

+ New Zealand troops in Le Ques­noy’s main square Novem­ber 1918 will be pre­sented by Pro­fes­sor Glyn Harper QSM in the Wilkins Theaterette in Te Manawa at mid­day to­day. The $3 en­try will go to the RNZE Mu­seum.

‘It is fan­tas­tic that so many bell­ringers are join­ing the

’ Roar­ing Cho­rus SARAH DAVIES Di­rec­tor of the First World War Cen­te­nary Pro­gramme WW100


NEW Zealand soldiers send­ing word by tele­phone from Le Ques­noy.

Gd­n081118en­ter­ingle­ques­noy PHOTO / ALEXAN­DER TURN­BULL LI­BRARY

New Zealand Di­vi­sional Com­man­der en­ter­ing Le Ques­noy af­ter its cap­ture.

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