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Launch of spectacular military pageant

19 September 2006

Launch of spectacular military pageant

Veterans' Affairs Minister Rick Barker today launched a spectacular musical military pageant honouring the Year of the Veteran and celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association.

"The military pageant will be held on 3 November at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium and will feature tributes to the service and sacrifice of veterans from the Boer War to the present day," said Rick Barker.

At today's launch a dozen veterans from WWII and subsequent campaigns arrived at Parliament in a Pinzgauer military vehicle and were greeted by Rick Barker.

The pageant will have a cast of more than 800 and will include a celebration of 90th anniversary of the RNZRSA, military bands, massed pipes and drums, a mock battle, RNZAF flypast, police dog display, the Lochiel Drill Team and vocalists including Hinewehi Mohi and blind award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Terry Kelly.

"The event also marks the start of the Ride of the Veterans, a charity month-long motorcycle trip around New Zealand. The Ride of the Veteran is about thanking local communities and the many unsung heroes and heroines for their efforts on behalf of veterans and for their support throughout the Year of the Veteran.

"2006 is ‘The Year of the Veteran', the year we, as New Zealanders, honour our veterans past and present. The pageant will be a tremendous opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the massive contribution veterans have made to our communities, cities and indeed to New Zealand's free and democratic society," said Rick Barker.

Tickets go on sale to the public through Ticketek at 9am tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 September).


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