City set for first charter parade in 11 years

A military parade with bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and swords drawn will weave its way through central Whangarei on Saturday.

It is the first time in 11 years that a charter parade has been held in Whangarei and exercises the right of 3rd Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly's Own) and Northland Battalion Group to freedom of Whangarei City under the charter granted to the regiment in 1964.

The charter allows the unit to parade through the city with weapons drawn and colours flying.

Charter parades also acknowledge a city's appreciation for the excellence of the unit's service to the country and is a great way of recognising the support of families, friends, and work colleagues that enable local soldiers to deploy on operations overseas.

The parade is especially fitting in the Queen's centennial year to celebrate the Battalion Group's long history with Whangarei and Northland.

Of special significance is that Whangarei Mayor Morris Cutforth is to be presented with his New Zealand Defence Service Medal. Mr Cutforth will also address the parade and conduct the ceremonial inspection.

The parade will include 100 soldiers and officers.

Northland army, navy and air force cadets will form a cordon at Rust Ave, before falling into the parade.

The Parade will move from Okara Drive about 12.20pm to Reyburn St, Cameron St, James St and Rathbone St where a representative of Northland police will challenge the commanding officer before moving into Cameron St and across to Rust Ave.

Following the procession, the formal proceedings at the Old Library will start at 1pm.

All members of the public are invited to line the streets and watch the parade.

- Northern Advocate

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