This year’s Armistice centenary will be marked in Hastings this Sunday, November 11, with a celebration at the town clock in the city centre.
Clubs Hastings RSA organises these commemorations each year, but given the 100 year milestone from when the First World War ended, it was decided to hold a “celebration” at the clock rather than the usual “service” at the cenotaph in Civic Square, said Clubs Hastings chief executive Jackie Wells.
Armistice Day recognises the moment at 11am on 11 November, 1918 when, after four brutal years of conflict, an Armistice was signed between the Allied powers and Germany, bringing an end to the First World War.
The fighting ceased at 11am, but not before it claimed a toll of more than 18,000 New Zealanders’ lives, of 100,000 in total (or ten per cent of the population at the time) who served overseas.
The Hastings ceremony will begin at 10.30am when marchers will arrive at the town clock via Heretaunga Mall.
After the national anthem is sung in English and Te Reo, Hastings District mayor Sandra Hazlehurst will give an address and then there will be rifle volleys, followed by an aircraft flyover at 11am.
Shortly after a recital of the last post and reveille, the former Labour cabinet minister and current Hawke’s Bay regional councillor Rick Barker will also make a speech.
To assist people to attend the ceremony, free buses will be provided – one at 9.45am at Havelock North domain at the Te Mata Rd bus stop, and one at the Flaxmere shopping village, also at 9.45am.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said 425 soldiers from the Hastings district died during their war service.
“Armistice Day gives our communities the opportunity to acknowledge the loss and trauma of the First World War, as well as time to reflect on the peace and hope of its closure.
“I encourage everyone to join together in remembrance, as the country remembers the relief and jubilation of the end of the war a century ago.”
Since the 75th anniversary of Armistice in 1993, it has been marked throughout New Zealand with services at the National War Memorial in Wellington and at local war memorials.
Posted: 8 November 2018