With the centenary celebrations for Armistice Day on Sunday 11 November just around the corner, the final touches are being put on what promises to be a great day.
In Hamilton, the Memorial Park remembrance service and celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One will include the burying of a time capsule.
Among the capsule’s contents will be personal items of war memorabilia from the forebears of local business people who made donations to the Ieper memorial project, along with information about the Hamilton businesses involved. It will also contain artefacts recovered from the Belgium city of Ieper, such as a bugle used for playing the Last Post there in memory of the World War One fallen.
Our pictures show the bugle and the chair of the Hamilton Ieper Project Trust Peter Bos (left) and fellow trustee Laurie Pilling, along with items being made ready for placing in the time capsule. Waikato Museum staff have been using white gloves to handle to artefacts.
The relationship between Hamilton and Ieper stretches back to World War One, when a large contingent of New Zealanders – including the Hamilton Light Horse Brigade – fought as part of a Commonwealth force in the area around Ieper. Many New Zealanders and Commonwealth soldiers who fought at Flanders and Passchendaele are buried in or near Ieper.
Since 2006, after deeper ties were initially forged by Mr Bos, the relationship between Ieper and Hamilton has become closer in a range of ways, including the creation of the Ieper Garden in Memorial Park and the start of the Hamilton Park in Ieper. A delegation from Ieper will be in attendance in Hamilton on 11 November.
The remembrance service will start at 10.15am.
The family outdoor concert and community picnic to follow the service will feature brass bands, choirs, songs and music from the World War One era, and old-style games such as egg and spoon, and sack races. Purple poppies representing animals who died in the conflict will be available from the War Horse Trust in the afternoon. Horses will be in attendance as well.