Rotorua's 99th commemoration of Armistice Day will be held tomorrow.

Armistice Day acknowledges the World War I ceasefire at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that ended four years of fighting.

Rotorua Returned and Services Association president William McDonald said the day's commemorations would begin at 10.40am at the Cenotaph on Queens Drive.

Once the parade has fallen in, a welcome and blessing will be done by Padre Knight before Mayor Steve Chadwick gives the Armistice address.


The Last Post will ring out and the flag raised before two minutes silence is observed at 11am. Once the ode has been spoken in English and Maori the Reveille will be played and the flag lowered.

Wreaths and poppies will then be placed on the Cenotaph.

"Everyone is welcome and the wearing of official medals is encouraged," McDonald said.

Tea and coffee will be served at the Rotorua Bowling Club after the parade.

If the weather is nasty, a reduced programme will be held inside the bowling club.

Next year marks a century since World War I, ended with commemoration events already in planning stages.

"We have a World War 100 committee, driven by the local council and chaired by Debbie Cossar, that is organising things for next year," McDonald said.

"I know the 11th falls on a Sunday in 2018 and we have a district ball planned for the evening of the 10th."

He said Armistice Day commemorations did not see the large number of people who attended Anzac Day parades each year.

"Put in context Armistice Day is observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War whereas Anzac Day was a commemoration of a more recent war and held only in New Zealand and Australia.

"Another thing of interest is that we, as Kiwis, possibly know more about Armistice Day than we do about the Maori Land Wars. The land wars were waged for 29 years, a lot longer than either WWI or II, and began in the South Island."

McDonald said the last New Zealander killed in World War I lost his life two days after the ceasefire was called.