Call for Pioneers march volunteers

Commemorations will also mark launch of Soutar’s book.

Commemorations will also mark launch of Soutar’s book.

MARCHERS WANTED: Volunteers are wanted, to join a commemorative march planned for June 8 to mark 100 years since the return of the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion from World War 1, and to mark the launch of Dr Monty Soutar’s book on the battalion. They will be dressed like the ‘troops’ who paraded for the C Company House opening in 2014. File picture

The tramp of marching military feet will again echo across Gisborne streets in June to mark 100 years since the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion returned home from World War 1.

It will also mark the Gisborne launch of Dr Monty Soutar’s book on Maori in the Great War.

The call has gone out for “troops” to join the ranks of another special commemorative march.

“We are going to attempt to mount a 100-man honour guard to parade like we did with the opening of C Company House in 2014,” Dr Soutar said.

“Sir Peter Jackson is going to supply the uniforms and his team at Wingnut Films may have to make up some more, depending on whether we can find 100 volunteers.”

The Hui Aroha, on April 8, 1919, was the official welcome home to the members of the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion who lived between Opotiki and Wairarapa.

Held at the Gisborne racecourse, it was promoted as the largest Maori gathering ever attempted.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will launch Dr Soutar’s book Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E! nationally at the Auckland Museum on June 5.

It will be re-launched at the Gisborne racecourse on June 8 to coincide with a remembrance event for the Hui Aroha.

“To commemorate the centenary of it and of the Wi Pere Monument, in conjunction with the book launch, the Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa Trust is organising a parade, the central feature of which will be a 100-man guard dressed in World War 1-period uniforms.

“The number represents one marcher for each year since the end of the Grear War.”

The parade will commence at 1pm on Saturday June 8 and follow the route that the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion took through Gisborne in 1919.

“The trust invites volunteers to register for the guard by providing a name and contact details to the Trust’s facebook page, or email WhitikiBookLaunch@gmail.com

Interested marchers can also contact P Jahnke on 027 455 5568 or R Jahnke on 027 646 4541.

“The parade is to reflect the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion, which was made up of mostly Maori troops, but also included some European and Pasifika men (Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu).

“We want to represent that mix in our special parade.”

The tramp of marching military feet will again echo across Gisborne streets in June to mark 100 years since the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion returned home from World War 1.

It will also mark the Gisborne launch of Dr Monty Soutar’s book on Maori in the Great War.

The call has gone out for “troops” to join the ranks of another special commemorative march.

“We are going to attempt to mount a 100-man honour guard to parade like we did with the opening of C Company House in 2014,” Dr Soutar said.

“Sir Peter Jackson is going to supply the uniforms and his team at Wingnut Films may have to make up some more, depending on whether we can find 100 volunteers.”

The Hui Aroha, on April 8, 1919, was the official welcome home to the members of the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion who lived between Opotiki and Wairarapa.

Held at the Gisborne racecourse, it was promoted as the largest Maori gathering ever attempted.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will launch Dr Soutar’s book Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E! nationally at the Auckland Museum on June 5.

It will be re-launched at the Gisborne racecourse on June 8 to coincide with a remembrance event for the Hui Aroha.

“To commemorate the centenary of it and of the Wi Pere Monument, in conjunction with the book launch, the Nga Taonga a Nga Tama Toa Trust is organising a parade, the central feature of which will be a 100-man guard dressed in World War 1-period uniforms.

“The number represents one marcher for each year since the end of the Grear War.”

The parade will commence at 1pm on Saturday June 8 and follow the route that the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion took through Gisborne in 1919.

“The trust invites volunteers to register for the guard by providing a name and contact details to the Trust’s facebook page, or email WhitikiBookLaunch@gmail.com

Interested marchers can also contact P Jahnke on 027 455 5568 or R Jahnke on 027 646 4541.

“The parade is to reflect the NZ Maori (Pioneer) Battalion, which was made up of mostly Maori troops, but also included some European and Pasifika men (Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu).

“We want to represent that mix in our special parade.”

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Patricia Mei - 1 month ago
Hi there - I would love to join the march as a proud supporter. What costs are involved please?

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