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Post Info TOPIC: Third Merchant Navy Day commemoration at Sulphur

PWSTS UK Director

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Third Merchant Navy Day commemoration at Sulphur

About 150 people braved a bitterly cold and blustery northeasterly to attend the third Merchant Navy Day commemoration at Sulphur Point today.


The wind, forecast to reach 20 knots, proved unfortunate but fitting, and had the flags tended to by the Tauranga Sea Cadets blowing proudly throughout the ceremony which lasted for about half an hour.


A strong wind furiously blew the flags at the Merchant Navy Day commemoration this afternoon.

Onlookers began assembling at the memorial at 1.45pm ahead of the commencement of the service at 2pm.

That was followed by Mayor Stuart Crosby reading Psalm 107 verse 23-31, a hymn, prayers, a poem recited by Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, a dedication and epitaph from Jimmy Gibson of the Tauranga RSA, words of remembrance from Lt. Col. Tim Woodman on behalf of the British High Commission, a performance of the Last Post, a revile, the laying of wreaths, the national anthem and a blessing.


The various speakers praised the sacrifice made by navy officers who chose to risk, and lose, their lives so that their nation could live in security and prosperity.

Lt. Col. Woodman described the composition of the New Zealand Navy during the war years as being at once older and younger than the army. He attributed this to the fact youngsters, barely in their teenage years, would often be granted positions such as deckhand in the navy before their peers would be admitted into the army.

 He also noted that the achievements of those who served at sea were far more difficult to assess than those who fought on land. The sea, he reasoned, holds many secrets.

The Tauranga Brass Band supplied music, including the national anthem, both before and during the commemoration.

All the while, less than 100 metres from the gathering, about a dozen young sailing enthusiasts in a number of small sailing boats made the most of the strong winds.

They flew about back and forth in three torpedoes supplied by theBayofPlenty Sailing Academy Truston an open day in which those who attended clearly enjoyed spending some time out on the water.

see more photographs of event

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