The 100-man honour guard will step-off from Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae at 11.15 am on Saturday 8 June and march to the Gladstone St Bridge, following part of the route that the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion took through Gisborne in 1919, ending at Kelvin Park in Stout Street for the launch of the book Whitiki. The Guard will sing songs from the First World War as they march.
The parade commemorates the centenary of the Hui Aroha, which was the largest Maori gathering of its time, to welcome home soldiers of the Maori Pioneer Battalion from the Great War. Over a thousand people are expected.
It will be a rare spectacle and on a scale probably never to be seen again in Gisborne.
Special guests include:
The Minister of Defence the Honourable Ron Mark
Sir Peter Jackson, who provided the 100 uniforms for the Guard of Honour
97-year-old Pine Ratapu – C Company’s only surviving member of the 28th Maori Battalion
The route of the parade is:
Saturday 8 June
11.30 am: Gladstone Rd Bridge, Gladstone Rd, Peel St.
The best places to view the parade will be the Gladstone Road side of the bridge as far as Peel Street.. Most visitors will gather at Kelvin Park from 11 am.
12.00 midday: Parade arrives Kelvin Park, Stout St and the book launch takes place.
Books signed by the author will be available at the discounted price of $60. This price is for the launch only. All proceeds from book sales will go towards the maintenance of the C Company Memorial House. Nga Tama Toa will also be on sale.
1.15 pm: 100-man Honour Guard marches to Wi Pere monument on Reads Quay then to Heipipi Park before returning to Te Poho-o-Rawiri Marae where there will be a welcome to the minister and visitors at 2.20 pm..
3.30 pm: Hakari
For more information or for pre-sales of Whitiki! Maori in the First World War