Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Nostalgia as wartime victory marked

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VE Day Military Vehicle Show at the Historic Village. (l-r) Liza Munro, Daniel Gilmour, and Gillian Avery. Photo/Andrew Warner
VE Day Military Vehicle Show at the Historic Village. (l-r) Liza Munro, Daniel Gilmour, and Gillian Avery. Photo/Andrew Warner

Tauranga stepped into the past at the weekend to celebrate the day World War II ended in Europe.

The anniversary of Victory in Europe Day was on Saturday and the Historic Village was abuzz with celebrations for two days, including a military vehicle show, a period costume competition, military displays and a band-led parade. View our video of the day below.

Terry Creighton in the World War II military truck he spent five years restoring. It was on display at the VE Day celebrations at the Historic Village. Photo / Andrew Warner
Terry Creighton in the World War II military truck he spent five years restoring. It was on display at the VE Day celebrations at the Historic Village. Photo / Andrew Warner

Two Tauranga-based Normandy veterans were presented with French Legion of Honour medals at a ceremony.

George Wottoon, 90, and John Hillier, 89, were recognised by the French government for their roles during the landings at Normandy and were presented with their medals by Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby.

A large collection of old military vehicles were on static display before they were driven around the Historic Village in a parade convoy.

One of them, a 1942 Ford Canadian Military Pattern, was brought back to life by Terry Creighton of Katikati.

When he first bought it on Trade Me, it was not much more than a rust bucket, but years of hard work by Mr Creighton made it display-ready.

"I stripped it down to just its parts and spent five years completely rebuilding it."

Mr Creighton enjoyed people having a look at it and other military trucks at events such as the BOP Military Vehicle Show.

"It's lovely to tell them a bit of history. It's nostalgic for the older guys, too. You'd be surprised how many guys come up and say, 'Oh, I used to drive one of these'," he said.

After the war, the truck, which was one of many made in Canada for Commonwealth armies, was used on farms and a sawmill in Taihape before Mr Creighton bought it.

Many of the people who visited the Historic Village at the weekend were dressed in 1940s attire, with plenty of animal-skin capes and dainty gloves.

Video

- Bay of Plenty Times

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