From Palmerston North City Council

10 August 2020

 City to mark 75 years since end of World War 2

Palmerston North will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 on 15 August, with a service at the Cenotaph in The Square.

The end of World War 2, on 15 August 1945, followed the United States dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese cities on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August). Fighting in Europe had ended in May 1945, but the Allies were still fighting in the Pacific.

Mayor Grant Smith says the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 is an opportunity for everyone to consider the sacrifices made on both sides of the war and what those sacrifices mean towards the lives forged by successive generations. These occasions are especially important to Palmerston North because of its close New Zealand Defence Force relationships with Linton Military Camp and the RNZAF Base Ohakea.

“We saw during COVID-19 lockdown, that the respect for our soldiers meant we would mark ANZAC Day come what may. We might not have been able to gather, but we stood at dawn in our neighbourhoods listening as Laments rang out from pipes, bugles and speakers. It is important to New Zealanders to show solidarity with their military men and women, both commemorating history and supporting their efforts at home and around the world.”

The public is invited to the wreath-laying service and should gather at the Cenotaph.

The sound of bagpipes will mark the start of service at 10.45am, with dignitaries being piped on to the concourse at 10.55am by the Pipes and Drums of Palmerston North. At the Cenotaph, the New Zealand and Palmerston North city flags will be flying, and a Lament will be piped at 11am, following the ringing of the clocktower bells.

Wreaths will be laid one at a time by:

  • New Zealand Army – Lieutenant Colonel Ed Craw, RNZAC (Commanding Officer of the Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles Regiment at Linton Camp) on behalf of the Commander of the First New Zealand Brigade. He will be accompanied by the Brigade Command Sergeant Major, WO1 Raymond Kareko.
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force – Base Commander Ohakea, Group Captain Shaun Sexton, RNZAF. Accompanied by Command Warrant Officer Guy Lipsham.
  • Palmerston North Returned and Services Association Brigadier (Retired) Evan Torrance, who is PNRSA Welfare Trust Chair and Manawatū Officer’s Club Patron. Accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Joe Hollander, RNZE (PNRSA Vice-President).
  • Palmerston North Deputy Mayor Tangi Utikere and Wiremu Te Awe Awe from Rangitāne.

The Ode will then be recited in Te Reo (by Wiremu Te Awe Awe) and English, (by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Joe Hollander, RNZE), that acknowledges the sacrifice of soldiers on both sides of the war.

LTCOL Ed Craw says being part of our local community’s commemoration of the service and sacrifice of the thousands of men and women who served is always a humbling experience. It will be particularly so this year as we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of both the War in the Pacific and World War II.

“Local commemorations, such as the one here in Palmerston North, not only allow us all to reflect on those sacrifices of the country, but more specifically about those made by the local community,  by their local service men and women,” Craw says.

Service organiser Hollander says VJ Day was important for New Zealand because it was the fight for our Pacific back yard. The victory brought relief to a nation disrupted by five years’ of war.

“Now 75 years on, we reflect on the end of the Second World War, the home and overseas experiences and sacrifices made by New Zealanders who had only 20 years beforehand experienced the Great War, and the great relief to all communities throughout New Zealand and the world,” Hollander says.

Caption: Schools and businesses closed in Palmerston North to mark the end of World War 2 on 15 August 1945. A thanksgiving service was held that afternoon, followed by a victory parade the next day. The parade attracted a big turnout of civilians and Defence personnel, a flotilla of 130 vehicles, and was led by the Manawatu Scottish Society’s Highland Pipe Band. The parade was followed by community singalong. Photo:


29 October, 2020

Armistice Day service commemorates sacrifice

Palmerston North will commemorate Armistice Day 2020 with a service at the Cenotaph in Te Marae o Hine – The Square.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allies ended fighting in World War I. New Zealand marked the end to hostilities in a pandemic climate similar to what the world is facing today with COVID-19, the 1918 Influenza epidemic.

Service Master of Ceremonies Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Joe Hollander, RNZE, who is also chairman of the Palmerston North Anzac Armistice Day Organising Committee (PNAADOC), says on Armistice Day the country’s contribution towards the Allied efforts during World War I is acknowledged. “We commemorate the emergence of the ANZAC spirit and sacrifices made by those from Palmerston North, the wider Manawatū and New Zealand as a whole. More than 1000 soldiers from this area made the ultimate sacrifice,” Hollander says.

The New Zealand History website records that World War I claimed around 18,000 New Zealand lives (either in or because of the war) – a further 41,000 were wounded or became ill. There were more, as a result of New Zealanders fighting with other Allied forces. Of those killed, 2779 were at Gallipoli and 12,000 the Western Front. To put these figures in context, in 1914 the population of New Zealand was 1.1 million. The influenza pandemic killed a further 9000 New Zealanders between October and December 1918.

The gathering will be formally welcomed by Mayor Grant Smith and Wiremu Te Awe Awe, of Rangitāne. The Services Address will be given by Colonel Stefan Michie, DSD, Commander 1st (NZ) Brigade, Linton Camp.

The public is asked to gather at the Cenotaph from 10.45am. Veterans and serving personnel are asked to meet at the i-SITE for a short march to the Cenotaph. The clocktower bells will ring at the start and end of the service. The wet weather venue is the Elwood Room at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre.

The youth voice will be heard through a speech from Palmerston North Boys’ High School’s John Hopcroft. Usually, the winner of the annual Palmerston North RSA Youth Speech Competition speaks at Armistice, but this year’s contest was a casualty of COVID-19. The speech competition prompts the younger generation to think about the impact of war. Hopcroft was placed second in last year’s event. The full programme follows below.

Mayor Grant Smith says such commemorative occasions respect Palmerston North’s close New Zealand Defence relationships, with Linton Military Camp and RNZAF Base Ohakea in the region. In 1956, Palmerston North gave the Defence Force the keys to the city in recognition of their contribution to our region and our country. The 1956 Charters granted Linton Military Camp and the Royal NZ Air Force the right to parade in the city with bayonets fixed, colours flying, drums beating, and bands playing.

“It is important successive generations understand the sacrifices made towards the freedoms and lives we are able to live today,” Smith says.

“People will want to gather to mark Armistice Day, after ANZAC Day parades and services were affected during COVID-19 lockdown. ANZAC showed us how resilient we are towards acknowledging what is important to us. Now we have the freedom to gather, we can show our support to our military men and women, at home and around the world, by commemorating history and supporting the great work they do.”

Colonel Michie says this year the New Zealand Army is itself acknowledging 175 years of service, having been involved in various and multiple theatres of conflict around the world, including both World Wars, during that time.

“Marking the signing of the Armistice is an important event as we honour the service and sacrifice of all New Zealanders who served during the First World War. It’s also a time to recognise and acknowledge the courage of families of those who served during that turbulent time in our history.

“Our Military personnel continue to serve New Zealand in the community, the nation and across the world. The challenge of Covid-19, in particular, reminds us of the vital role the NZDF plays in protecting the nation.”

Poppy Places

Following the Armistice Day service, the Mayor will join New Zealand Poppy Places Trust chairman Colonel (Rtd) Terry McBeth, from Upper Hutt, and Commander, 1 (NZ) Brigade Colonel Stefan Michie at the Palmerton North Conference and Function Centre for the launch of the next six streets of significance signs, which are all at Linton Military Camp.

Poppy Places is a national street and site recognition project that commemorates those who have served overseas in the armed services or places with military importance. Street and place signs with military connections are embellished with a poppy symbol.

Last year, Palmerston North became the first city in New Zealand to complete its Poppy Places installations, a total of 31. Linton Camp last year received the first 11 of its Poppy Places signs. This year, Linton Camp will add poppies to six street signs. More poppies will be added to camp signs during 2021, 2022 and 2023. This year’s signs are:

42nd Street: Named for a street in Chania, Crete, where ANZAC units formed a rear guard to protect the rest of the Commonwealth forces that were being pushed south by the Germans.

Dieppe Place: Named after the Dieppe Raid, or Battle of Dieppe, where Allied troops invaded the German-occupied French port town on 19 August,1942. New Zealand forces were based in the Dieppe Barracks in Singapore, until 1989.

Gunners Lane: Named as a tribute to all gunners – Infantry Battalion and Mounted Rifles. 1NZ Machine Gun (known as Auckland Company), 2nd NZMG, (known as Canterbury Company), 3rd NZMG (known as Otago Company), 4th NZMG (known as Wellington Company). 1st NZMG SQN, 2nd NZMG SQN and NZMG Corps Reserve Depot.

Malacca Grove: Named for the Commonwealth Forces and New Zealand camp in Terendak, Malaya.

Soldiers Lane: In remembrance of all who have served as part of the New Zealand Defence Force.

Taiping Terrace: Named for the original Commonwealth Forces and New Zealand camp near the town of Ipoh, in Perak Province, northern Malaya.

Korean War presentation

On the evening of Wednesday 11 November, between 5.30pm and 7pm at the Globe Theatre, a talk will be held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and New Zealand’s involvement in the conflict. Presented by Dr Ian McGibbon, ONZM (ex-Chief Historian, Ministry of Culture and Heritage), it will consider the origins and course of the war and his reflections of his visit to the Demilitarized Zone in 2019.

Armistice Day parade and service programme

10.45am – Assembly and march-on

 11am – Service and introduction

Opening by the Master of Ceremonies, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Joe Hollander, RNZE (PNRSA).

 Formal welcome

Wiremu Te Awe Awe, Rangitāne

His Worship The Mayor, Grant Smith, Palmerston North City Council.

 The Lesson

New Zealand Defence Force Chaplain CL3 Janie McPhee.

Services address

Colonel Stefan Michie, DSD, Commander, 1st (NZ) Brigade, Linton Camp.

 Youth address

John Hopcroft. (Palmerston North Boys’ High School).

 Prayer for the Fallen

New Zealand Defence Force Chaplain CL3 Janie McPhee

 Laying of wreaths

 The Lament

Jim Farley, Pipes and Drums of Palmerston North.

 The Ode

Private Hana Wainohu, RNZALR, 2nd Engineer Regiment, Linton Camp and Wing Commander Peter Hurly, RNZAF (PNRSA).

 Last Post

Bugler – Corporal Tim Cook, New Zealand Army Band Reserve.

 One-minute silence


Bugler – Corporal Tim Cook, New Zealand Army Band Reserve.

New Zealand National Anthem

Supported by Unity Singers Choir

Closure of service

Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Joe Hollander, RNZE (PNRSA).

 12noon – NZ Poppy Places Trust Launch

Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre

354 Main Street, Palmerston North

 Caption: Part of the ‘Final Battle Campaign for Sick and Wounded Soldiers’ fundraising procession outside the Soldier’s Club, which was built at the corner of Cuba and George Streets by the Patriotic Society in 1917, later known as Returned Servicemen Association building. The Patriotic Society was created in 1916, during World War One, for fundraising and welfare purposes. This fundraiser ran for three to four weeks from February 1918, raising £20,000 (20 thousand pounds).