Friday, 2 November 2018

Armistice Day Commemorations in 2018

At 11am on 11 November this year, Aotearoa New Zealand will mark the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918. On that day 100 years ago, after four years of brutal conflict, war finally gave way to peace.
The First World War had taken a huge toll on New Zealand. Around 100,000 New Zealanders – or ten percent of the population at the time – served overseas during the war, and over 18,000 lost their lives. Families and communities back home felt these losses acutely.
When news of the Armistice reached our shores it was met with thanksgiving, hopefulness and joyous noise.

The Armistice centenary gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the loss and trauma of the First World War, as well as reflect on peace and hope at the centenary of its closure. As well as joining together in remembrance, we can recapture the relief and jubilation of that important day a century ago.

So, what’s happening in Rotorua during November 2018 to mark Armistice Day?

Week of 5th November: Beyond the graveRotorua high school students will be  cleaning  WW1 soldiers' headstones located in the historic section of Sala Street Cemetery. This project is co-ordinated by the Rotorua Museum and RSA.

Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Library's Anahera Sadler & Ani Sharland, Sala Street Cemetery

9th November: Rotorua Armistice Day 1918 presentation by Heritage & Research staff at 11am in the Discovery Space, Te Aka Mauri. This presentation will be repeated on Armistice Day at 1pm at the Blue Baths.

Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Library's Alison Leigh & Trish Brown

10th November: Book Launch of Touched by War, by Alison Brown and Matthew Martin at 11am Discovery Space, Te Aka Mauri. There will be copies of the book for sale.

11th November: Armistice Day Commemoration Service 10.30 – 11.30 at Cenotaph followed by 3 hours family friendly afternoon celebrations. See local papers and the  council website for programme. Activities include donkey rides, Highland Pipe Band, Rotorua Brass Band, Travelling Tuataras, Black Porch and more. Afternoon tea and scones will be available at the Blue Baths where there will also be a repeat of the Rotorua Armistice 1918 presentation by a Heritage & Research library staff member

6th -19th November: Field of Remembrance. Crosses in Government Gardens.

16th November: Author talk and book launch of The Aro Street Girls by Lyndsay Campbell, 1.30 Discovery Space, Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Library.

Month of November: Displays in Te Aka Mauri, along with weekly blogs on the Library website, include Quilts, Books, 1918 Hot Lakes Chronicle newspaper.

Month of November: He Pou Aroha - Community Cenotaph Kiosk from Auckland War Memorial Museum will be on the 2nd floor at Te Aka Mauri to help you discover and share stories of those who served. Anyone can contribute to the Online Cenotaph by digitising Taonga, documents, letters, medals, photographs, and war memorabilia. Or simply discover your connection and lay a digital poppy or leave a personal message.

November: Creation and Presentation of Roll of Honour, Masonic Lodge. A roll of honour of the names of Lodge Rotorua Brethren who served in WW1 to be hung in Lodge Room.

This blog was compiled by Trish. With thanks to Tracey Shepherd, Allan Birtwistle (Rotorua Masonic Lodge), Auckland War Memorial Museum, Rotorua Lakes Council

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