by Chris Tobin
Church bells, ships’ and fire appliance horns will sound in Timaru on Sunday morning, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 in which 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 wounded.
“Other services held to remember World War 1 have been sombre,” Michelle Brown, chairwoman of the South Canterbury WWOne centenary committee said.
“This will be more celebratory.”
A special service, open to the public, will be held at Timaru’s cenotaph in Queen St at the Botanic Gardens.
After the observance of two minutes’ silence, the bells and horns will sound out at 11.02am.
The South Canterbury committee was formed to remember the 100th anniversaries of momentous events in the war and it will culminate with Sunday’s commemoration – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the horrific war ended in 1918.
“The committee has worked really hard; some people have come and gone but we’ve had a core group of eight to nine.”
Over the years the committee had planted a Gallipoli pine next to the cenotaph and added information panels.
On Sunday, more panels will be unveiled – one remembering the capture of the French town of Le Quesnoy by the New Zealand Division on November 4, 1918, which was the last major action by the New Zealanders in the war, the other the armistice.
Mrs Brown encouraged the public to be at the cenotaph for the commemoration at 10.30am.
The celebratory tone will also be taken up all around New Zealand.
Bells will ring out at the national commemoration ceremony in Wellington and the public are being encouraged to bring instruments, hooters and bells to the service at the Auckland War Memorial Museum where tens of thousands of people are expected.