Soldier’s efforts to be remembered

Saturday February 21, 2015 Written by Published in Weekend
Grace Hutton who with Helene Kay has been researching the contribution made by Cook Islanders who fought in World War One. Grace Hutton who with Helene Kay has been researching the contribution made by Cook Islanders who fought in World War One.

This year will commemorate the 100th Year of the Cook Islands men enlisting in the New Zealand Army, and the Cook Islands Soldiers of World War One committee, (CISWWO) is planning to make the 2015 commemoration a big success. 

Committee member Grace Hutton, who works for Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, says a programme has been organised to run from Friday April 17 to Sunday April 19. 

“On the Friday we will place up to 500 white crosses with each man’s name and service number on the lawn of Parliament in Wellington. 

“The Army brass band will play and soldiers will march to the steps of Parliament where we will have a  wreath-laying  ceremony, and speeches by dignitaries and leaders of the Cook Islands communities.”

The following day, the Cook Islands Society will host a 100 year commemoration dinner in Wellington, complete with the national anthem, a flag raising, roll call and devotion.

On Sunday the weekend will end with a church service at Te Akapuanga, Cannons Creek, Porirua, at 2.30pm, says Hutton.

T-shirts featuring a drawing of the Pioneer badge and the places the soldiers visited and places of conflict overseas will be produced, as well as special commemoration pins.

The CISWWO committee includes New Zealand MPs Alfred Ngaro and Poto Williams, Cook Islands High Commissioner Papa Tiki Matapo, Cook Islands First Secretary Sandra Tisam, Tuaine Robati, Helene Kay, Tinokura Tairea, Matt Paroro and Vaiata Mitchell.

Hutton says she and Helene Kay are continuing to research the forgotten story of the Cook Islands soldiers who fought in World War One.

2 comments

  • Comment Link Jack Eastbury Thursday, 16 July 2015 18:25 posted by Jack Eastbury

    Thanks for not forgetting our ancestors who fought for our freedom.

  • Comment Link Chuck Baran Wednesday, 15 April 2015 12:32 posted by Chuck Baran

    This is wonderful. Please never, ever forget your soldiers; your warriors. They are the ones who are keeping you free.

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