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Kāhui St David’s To Honour The 28th Māori Battalion

Whānau and friends across the motu are invited to celebrate and honour the 28th Māori Battalion at a special event at 6pm on 24 April (Anzac Eve). It will be an evening of inspiring music, moving images and warm hospitality in the company of exceptional guests and a historic event to remember the Māori Battalion.

As Lieutenant-General Lord Freyberg, VC, GCMG, KCB, KBE, DSO wrote "No infantry battalion had a more distinguished record, or saw more fighting, or, alas, had such heavy casualties as the Maori Battalion."

The invitation comes from Kāhui St David's Director Paul Baragwanath, and the Friends of St David's Trust Kāhui Rangi Pūpū'. Paul reached out to kaumatua and representatives of the 28th Māori Battalion and Te Mata Law to bring this special event together. It was Sir Bom Gillies KNZM, who served with B Company, 28th Battalion in World War II, who gave his blessings for the event and for a dedicated bronze plaque to be installed in the Great Hall. 

The plaque will be positioned at the foot of the great leadlight and stained-glass window that depicts Christ amongst tangata whenua, in the eastern wall of the Great Hall (main body of the church) of Kāhui St David’s.

“This plaque will inspire new generations who come to Kāhui St David’s for music, community and remembrance,” says Paul Baragwanath.

David Stone, Principal and Founding Partner of Te Mata Law, who led the campaign to distribute medals to all whānau of the 28th Māori Battalion says “This historic, remembrance event is for everyone. That includes all whānau of the 28th Māori Battalion. St David’s was built as a World War I Soldiers’ Memorial Church. It is now home to Kāhui St David’s centre for music, which will see the building continue as a living memorial for our tamariki in perpetuity. It’s a meaningful place to honour the legacy of the 28th Māori battalion.”

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St David’s foundation stone was laid on Anzac Day in 1927, and shortly after was dedicated as The Soldiers’ Memorial Church. It is home to the Royal New Zealand Engineers, and the 29th and 30th Infantry Battalions are also honoured. In 2023, Chief of Defence Air Marshal Short sent Deputy Chief of Army Brigadier King to unveil the Lamp of Remembrance, which is now illuminated daily to honour all members, current and retired, of the Armed Services.

Many are anticipated to attend the Anzac Eve 2024 event at Kāhui St David’s. They will experience the magnificent acoustics of your newest centre for music - Kāhui St David's, with performances by musicians Horomona Horo (taonga pūoro), David Harvey (bagpipes), Ed Waaka (piano and vocal), Helen Lukman-Fox (pipe organ) and The Off Broadway Big Band.

Paul Baragwanath says, “With the help of New Zealanders nationwide, we saved this Category A Historic Heritage Place from demolition, and in 2021 secured its future as a living memorial and a symbol of hope and peace, where everyone feels at home, in their newest centre dedicated to music, community and remembrance”



Wednesday 24 April @6pm

Kāhui St David's

70 Khyber Pass Road

Grafton, Auckland

Order of evening:

Pūoro – Horomona Horo, taonga pūoro

Procession – military / returned services and 28th Māori Battalion representation (audience is already seated)

National Anthem in Te Reo Māori and English

Karakia & Mihi Whakatau – Kaumatua Tautoko Witika

Address by Lt Col Nick Jones (3/6 Battalion)

Address by Brian Hull, President, 28th Māori Battalion Auckland Association

Unveiling of the plaque to honour the 28th Māori Battalion. The Kaumatua of the 28th Māori Battalion Auckland Association will confirm who is taking responsibility for this.

Last Post, The Ode, Minute of Silence, The Rouse

Musical items:

Horomona Horo – taonga pūoro

Bagpipes – David Harvey

Ed Waaka (x2 items) – with video including return of the 29th Māori Battalion to NZ and Waikato station post WWII

Helen Lukman-Fox on Pipe organ

The Off Broadway Big Band – hymn (which TBC)

Hospitality – soup, fried bread, ANZAC biscuits, tea and coffee


Can't come for ANZAC Eve? You’re invited on Anzac Day to see through Kāhui St David’s building, and view the Sara Hughes artworks in the North Chapel.

Thursday 25 April 11am - 3.00pm

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