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.