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The French are coming: Naval ship to invade Akaroa

To: Chief Reporter
From: Kristi Gray, Communication Team
Date: 16 September 2008

CCC media release

The French are coming! Naval ship to invade Akaroa!

The French naval ship La Moqueuse will be steaming into Akaroa Harbour to be part of this year’s French Fest.

The naval boat will arrive at 9am on 10 October with the French Ambassador, Monsieur Michel Legras, on board and will remaining in the harbour throughout French Fest.

Lieutenant Laurent Saunois and his crew will also be involved in the official ceremony on Friday night when both the French and New Zealand flags will be raised.

Event organiser Mark Hadlow said this flag-raising ceremony was an important event as it marks the symbiosis between France and New Zealand.

The French contingent will also play an important part in the re-enactment of the arrival at midday on Saturday 11 October which helps reinforce the significance of the arrival of Akaroa’s ancestors on the Compte de Paris in 1840.

This will be followed by a parade through Akaroa accompanied by the New Zealand Army Band.

“The presence of the officers and crew from La Moqueuse, the New Zealand Army band and the French Ambassador helps create the authenticity of Akaroa and adds to the atmosphere of the whole event,’’ says Mr Hadlow.

“We would also have liked to have had a New Zealand naval ship present but they are all on deployment elsewhere,’’ he says. “However we will have Commodore Rex Edwards as the Royal New Zealand Navy’s representative.’’

People wanting an easy travel option to the festival can catch a Red Bus leaving Christchurch at 9.30am and returning at 5.30pm. The bus leaves from the St Asaph Street end of the Tuam Street car park which has free car parking on weekends.

Tickets are available from Red Bus on 794 260 and cost only $20 per person return with a family ticket costing $75, a significant saving on the original fares. The family ticket includes two adults and two children under 15.


ENDS

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