The Whangarei Districts Brass Band is hoping Whangarei people will raise their glasses to help the New Zealand Veterans Band attend the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Whangarei band musical director and NZ Veterans Band member Frank Lundberg is the only local musician taking part in October next year in events acknowledging those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on Belgian soil during the Great War.

The official New Zealand ceremony will be on October 12 but the Kiwi contingent will also commemorate the sacrifice of many young men from New Zealand on October 4, with a Belgian ceremony at Graven-tafel in Passchendaele.

The NZ Veterans Band will also play a concert in the Old Cheese Factory, in the Passchendaele Battlefield, on October 6, 2017.


This month, to help the band get there, a nine-piece NZ Vets ensemble, wearing their number one uniform and medals, will perform a concert programme at the Whangarei RSA and make a presentation during the event from 1pm-2pm, on Saturday, October 29.

Then, with less ceremony and more oom-pah-pah, later that day the 10-piece ''Lion Red Bavarian Brass Band'' will trumpet the Passchendaele fundraising effort at Kamo Club's Oktoberfest, starting at 6pm.

Last year, to commemorate the Anzac Day centenary, former New Zealand Army member Mr Lundberg organised nightly Last Post ceremonies at the Whangarei Cenotaph in Laurie Hall Park.

In 2010 he was with the NZ Army Veterans' Band when they played at commemorations at Passchendaele, and he has played his part in Australian Anzac Day commemorations.

Earlier this year, Mr Lundberg played the Last Post at the 5pm lowering of the flags at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of the Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington.

The dusk ritual is played nightly to commemorate the going down of the sun on every day of World War I, which lasted from 1914 until 1918.

The NZ Veterans Band is a full brass band made up mainly of past members of the New Zealand Army Band but includes members from other Defence Force bands.

The Battle of Passchendaele commemorative event is organised through the New Zealand Pilgrimage Trust set up in Belgium to assist New Zealand schools, groups and individuals with research and visits to the Western Front battlefields.