INDEPENDENT NEWS

National Merchant Navy Day Commemoration 3 September 2018

Published: Fri 31 Aug 2018 09:45 AM
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2018
The national commemoration to honour those who served in the Merchant Navy during wartime is being held this coming Monday 3 September in the Hall of Memories, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, says Ministry for Culture and Heritage Group Manager Delivery Tamsin Evans.
“Members of the public are welcome to attend the commemoration beginning at 11am with a karanga led by Taranaki Whānui, followed by the flag parade led by the Red Ensign of the New Zealand Merchant Navy,” Ms Evans says.
“This is a significant commemoration to honour the several thousand New Zealand seafarers who served both in the First and Second World Wars, mostly sailing under the British red ensign.
“Some 70 are known to have lost their lives during the First World War and at least 140 during the Second World War, with a similar number taken prisoner.
“These civilian volunteers sailed the ships delivering troops, military equipment and vital cargoes of food, fuel and raw materials. Many ships were torpedoed or bombed and survivors sometimes spent days or weeks in lifeboats before being rescued.
“No other group of New Zealand civilians faced such risks during wartime,” Ms Evans says.
With this work essential to the Allies' war effort the Merchant Navy was effectively regarded as the ‘fourth service’ alongside the army, navy and air force. And as civilians employed by private shipping companies most did not wear uniforms. Some were as young as 14 years old and others were in their 60s and 70s.
Merchant Navy was a symbolic title adopted in Britain in the 1920s recognising the contribution of merchant mariners during the First World War. The date, 3 September, marks the sinking of the first British merchant ship in 1939, just hours after the Second World War began.
This year’s commemoration includes attendance by the Minister of Defence and Veterans Ron Mark, High Commissioner of Samoa Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan, and representatives from the New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Defence Force, Merchant Navy Association, NZ Shipping Federation, NZ Company of Master Mariners, NZ Merchant Service Guild and the Russian Convoy Club.
People wishing to attend the commemoration are advised to be there by 10.45am.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Māori Crown agency to be established
By: New Zealand Government
Gordon Campbell on our military roles in Iraq & Afghanistan
By: Gordon Campbell
Government to proactively release Cabinet papers
By: New Zealand Government
Evidence of huge government waste
By: The New Zealand Initiative
Gordon Campbell on the Ardern pep talk
By: Gordon Campbell
All charter schools now approved
By: New Zealand Government
PM's Press Conference 17/9/18: Still in Iraq and Afghanistan
By: Lyndon Hood
NZ to extend NZDF deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party disappointed with Iraq decision
By: RNZ
Forever loyal to US empire & its wars
By: Auckland Peace Action
Green Party welcomes proactive release of cabinet papers
By: Green Party
Govt should heed report on low-quality spending
By: New Zealand National Party
Nats' Last Presser is rich
By: United New Zealand
Winston Peters: 'There's only one captain on a boat'
By: RNZ
Ardern reasserts coalition leadership; strokes Peters
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media