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Armistice Day Charter Parade

26 October 2005

Armistice Day Charter Parade

Eighty seven years after the guns fell silent on November 11, 1918 to end World War One, Te Atatu Peninsula will have a special commemoration for all those who have died in wars and a second commemoration for one of its sons killed in World War Two.

Two plaques will be unveiled at the site of historic gun emplacements beside Gunner Drive. The emplacements will be re-opened and the occasion will culminate in a charter parade through adjoining Te Atatu streets by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

The occasion has been organised between the Te Atatu RSA, the Council and the RNZAF, for 11am on Armistice Day, November 11. This marks the day in 1918 on which an Armistice (peace document) was signed between Germany and the Allies (including New Zealand). It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.* This formally brought to an end the First World War in which, at Gallipoli, the term ANZAC was first used.

The Charter Parade - in which the air force celebrates being given 'The freedom of the city' - begins in Pringle Drive. It turns into Gunner Drive and Te Atatu Road before returning to finish in Pringle Road.

One of the plaques to be unveiled during the ceremony commemorates all people killed in all wars.

"Millions of people died in many countries which, today, have a connection with New Zealand and we feel it is appropriate to recognise the suffering of all countries," says Elizabeth Grimmer, chair of the Henderson Community Board.

The other plaque pays tribute to Flying Officer Whelan F. Hazard, the only Te Atatu resident to die in World War 2. Flying Officer Hazard, who was known to his friends as "Hap", died after his aircraft was shot down near the Belgian border.

Constructed in 1943, the gun emplacement on Gunner Drive protected the western airfields from aerial attack and is now the only one of its type remaining. Council approved a conservation plan for the emplacement earlier this year.


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