Re­mem­ber­ing the fallen — Armistice Day in Alexan­dra

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS -

ARMISTICE Day was for­mally in­au­gu­rated through­out the Com­mon­wealth on Novem­ber 11, 1919, when King Ge­orge V re­quested all British sub­jects ob­serve two min­utes’ si­lence to re­mem­ber the fallen.

Here is a look at how Cen­tral Otago’s RSAs will mark the 100th an­niver­sary of Armistice Day in Alexan­dra this week­end.


Mounted Ri­fles vis­its: A se­lec­tion of schools will be vis­ited by the Mounted Ri­fles.

Tree­plant­ing: Peo­ple from the com­mu­nity have pur­chased 10 trees, which rep­re­sent each decade since the end of World War 1.

The trees will be planted in a spe­cial cer­e­mony at Richard Park, on the cor­ner of Tar­bert, Ki­lar­ney and Shan­non sts, from 6pm to 6.45pm.

Me­mo­rial un­veil­ing: The many sol­diers from Cen­tral Otago who went to war will be recog­nised dur­ing a spe­cial cer­e­mony at Richard Park at 7pm.

The evening’s events will fea­ture Cen­tral Otago Mayor Tim Cado­gan as MC for the un­veil­ing.

The Alexan­dra Ro­tary Club took on the pro­ject as one of its com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives to help mark its 75th an­niver­sary.

The event will also be at­tended by the Mounted Ri­fles.


Morn­ing: At 9am, Roxburgh com­mem­o­ra­tions will take place, start­ing with a Mounted Ri­fles visit to King Ge­orge V Me­mo­rial Park and will con­tinue with a tree­plant­ing at 10am. The Mounted Ri­fles will then visit Castle­wood and Ranui rest­homes.

Af­ter­noon: A se­ries of mounted games will take place in Pi­o­neer Park from 1pm.

Mounted games is a fast­paced ac­tion­packed dis­ci­pline with rid­ers and horses demon­strat­ing a range of skills.

Both horse and rider most have an im­mense amount of fit­ness and train­ing.

Rid­ers are ath­letic and strong, with great horse­man­ship skills and great eye­hand co­or­di­na­tion, while horses show their abil­ity to be fast, strong and nim­ble.

The mounted games will con­tinue next day.

The fi­nals will be on Sun­day at Pi­o­neer Park, once the for­mal Armistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tions are over.

Mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment: Pop­u­lar en­ter­tain­ers The Drama Queens will per­form a range of wartime songs at the Alexan­dra District Club­RSA from 8pm.

Book­ings are es­sen­tial if you wish to have a meal be­fore­hand.

The Drama Queens — made up of Alice Sol­lis, Sharleyne Di­a­mond and Tracey Austin — will travel from Ti­maru for the oc­ca­sion.

They will also per­form at Pi­o­neer Park fol­low­ing the for­mal Armistice Day com­mem­o­ra­tions on Sun­day.


The RSA Pa­rade: At 10.45am sharp, the RSA Pa­rade will com­mence from the cor­ner of Ken­mare and Shan­non sts, Alexan­dra, op­po­site the RSA Bowl­ing Club.

The pa­rade, which will be led by the Alexan­dra Pipe Band, will move into Pi­o­neer Park.

Alexan­dra­Clyde RSA pres­i­dent Kevin Hard­ing will pro­vide an open­ing ad­dress, which will be fol­lowed by a five­gun salute from the RSA’s 25­pounder gun.

Each of the five shots will rep­re­sent 20 years — a to­tal of 100 — mark­ing the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions.

A ‘‘fly­over’’’ of two, maybe more, bi­planes will fol­low, weather per­mit­ting.

The air will then be still as the crowd gives two min­utes si­lence at 11.11am, in me­mory of the many sol­diers who went to war but did not re­turn.

The Roxburgh Pi­o­neer En­ergy Brass Band will then per­form a range of sig­nif­i­cant mu­sic to com­mem­o­rate the oc­ca­sion, un­til the Mounted Ri­fles’ 100­horse pa­rade and foot sol­diers en­ter the park for a ride past the pa­rade.

Guest speak­ers will in­clude Cen­tral Otago Mayor Tim Cado­gan, Mark Ap­ple­ton, of the Mounted Ri­fles, and De­nis Ryan, of the Cromwell RSA.

RSA district pres­i­dent Jenepher Glover, RSA sup­port ad­viser Niall Shep­pard and coun­cil­lor Shirley Calvert will also talk.

Wreaths will then be laid, fol­lowed by the Alexan­dra Pipe Band play­ing a lament.

Bu­gler Chris­tine Wright will then play the Last Post.

Jude Parbhu will re­cite the ded­i­ca­tion and ode, then Chris­tine will play ‘‘reveille’’.

Next the Rev­erend An­drew How­ley will lead the group in prayer, fol­lowed by the na­tional an­them, played by the brass band and sung by the RSA singers.

Alexan­dra­Clyde RSA pres­i­dent Kevin Hard­ing will share some fi­nal words be­fore the pa­rade falls out.

Wreaths will be trans­ferred to the Alexan­dra ceno­taph at the end of the pa­rade.

The Drama Queens and chil­dren from Alexan­dra Pri­mary School and The Ter­race School will per­form a lo­cal schools trib­ute.

There will be an­other fly­over at 2pm, fol­lowed by Peter Mead­ows in his Rus­sian fighter jet.

Z En­ergy has pro­vided the fuel for the oc­ca­sion.

Other Cen­tral Otago ar­eas will also com­mem­o­rate the oc­ca­sion, in­clud­ing:

Ran­furly: There will be an Armistice Day ser­vice at the Ran­furly Pres­by­te­rian Church at 10.30am.

Oture­hua: There will be a 2pm ser­vice and un­veil­ing of a new sol­diers’ me­mo­rial board at Oture­hua sol­diers’ me­mo­rial.

Omakau: There will be an Armistice Day tree­plant­ing at 2.30pm at the Har­vey St re­serve.

Cromwell: There will be a ser­vice of re­mem­brance on Sun­day at 9am at the Cromwell Pres­by­te­rian Church.


Mark­ing a cen­te­nary . . . Alexan­dra­Clyde RSA rep­re­sen­ta­tives (from left) pres­i­dent Kevin Hard­ing, se­nior vice­pres­i­dent De­bra War­bur­ton and ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Gerry Suther­land are among those help­ing pre­pare Armistice Day cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tions, tak­ing place this week­end.

In bloom . . . Pop­pies are in bloom in Alexan­dra, a flower which was in­spired by the World War 1 poem In Flan­ders Fields.PHOTO: THE NEWS

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