Topic: 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Regiment's 1998 Centennial Celebrations

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D. Anderson, Association President reflects on the 100 year celebrations of the 6th Battalion (Hauraki) Regiment. Reprinted with permission from the Associations 1998, 12th Newsletter.

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6th Hauraki Insignia

As President of the Association I perhaps had more of an opportunity to be involved in many of the events leading up to and culminating with the ball, as you did.

The year started with a visit to the AFX being held at Paeroa in February and meeting with a number of the serving members, which also included the 3 Auck/North Battalion and the 9th Battalion Royal Queensland Regiment. It was note worthy that the 3 Auck/North Association had half a dozen members attend the full camp. Maybe we should do the same?.

In the afternoon was the rededication of the Bradford Memorial at Primrose Hill Paeroa with an inspiring eulogy of Sergeant Major George Bradford by Rev. Pat Scaife. Sergeant Major Bradford was the first New Zealander killed overseas on active service. Pat Scaife was a Major in the RNZA and has been with 6 Hauraki in the role of artillery advisory party.

A Formal Invitation was extended to Trevor (Secretary) and myself to attend the combined Officers, Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess formal dining out that evening. This involved the 6 Hauraki, 3 Auck/North and 9 Royal Queensland Regiment. I believe it was the first time the colours of the 6 Hau and the 3 Auck/North were marched in together.

The next day was the Freedom of the city of Paeroa Charter Parade with the guard made up from members of 6 Hau, 3 Auck/North and 9 Queensland Regiment. A spine tingling event as the colours were marched past led by the pipes and drums.

 Later that afternoon the Haurakis combined with the Highland games and performed a mini military Tattoo. A very appreciative crowd were impressed with the fine drill and presentation of the colours.

In March I was privileged to be a guest at the Military Tattoo at both Rotorua and Tauranga. The highlight being, along with other association members, invited to march in the finale of the march past. Fortunately it was dark and our lack of drill was not seen by the public.

  The weekend of the centenary celebrations for me began with the launching of the Regimental History in the publication "Comrades Brave". The author is Major Richard Taylor, a former Hauraki. The Hauraki's, then proceeded to take the phrase 'Freedom of the City' quite literally. At the Mayors Chambers, they attempted to liberate all the alcoholic beverages belonging to the City of Tauranga.

At the Association Reunion it was good to meet old friends who had served together in years gone by. Hasn't everybody aged!! Nearly every sentence began with "remember when".

The Colour Parade through the streets of Tauranga was curtailed somewhat by the weather. The Colours remained under cover, and the Pipes and Drums did not march, and rain coats were the order of the day. However the parade through the streets of Tauranga continued, with the Patron Lt. Col Geo MacLeod being invited to lead the parade and with 30 association members marching at the rear.

 Before the presentation of the Centenary Painting by the artist, the Governor General presented to S/Sgt J.F.Seymour, the EM 55 years after he was eligible to receive it.

The Centenary Ball was the highlight of the weekend. The planning, preparation and work that had gone into this event by all the members of the committee, was reflected in the success of the event. The welcoming of all the Guests at the Ball by myself and my wife, was great in that I was putting faces to names of the many people I had written letters to. Being the President, I had the honour of sitting at the table with the Governor General his wife, the Mayors of Tauranga, Hauraki and Tauranga Districts, John Delemere, and the Ranking Military Officers. An honour I will Probably not receive again.

With four bands, plenty of food and a liberal amount of alcohol and good company, the ball had all the hallmarks of a success.

 I am proud to have been part of the team that organised the Hauraki Centenary Ball, but please don't nominate me for the next Centenary Ball.



This page archived at Perma CC in Septmeber of 2016:

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