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Wreath Laying In the Waves WW1 Remembrance Service


Sun 13 Nov 2016, 1:30pm–3:00pm

Where: Ts Tamatoa Sea Cadet, 160 The Esplanade, Lower Hutt, Wellington Region

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: Claire Clark

The Wreath Laying in the Waves WW1 Remembrance Service is a citizen’s service being held at Petone Beach to lay wreaths in the waves to remember those souls of all nations who sailed over the sea, may have fought at sea and may have died at sea during WW1.

The service is being held on Remembrance Sunday 13 November and follows Armistice Day commemorations for 2016. It also recognises the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary being celebrated during November 2016. Members of the public are welcome to attend and are invited to lay their own floral tributes in the waves during the service. The service will feature young people of the TS Tamatoa Sea Cadets, St James Sea Scout Group and Cadet Drum Corps.

The event begins at 1:30pm with a WW1 Singalong concert with the 7th Wellington Battalion Band. The concert is free and song sheets will be handed out with ditties such as 'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside" and 'It's a long way to Tipperary". The concert will be held on Petone Beach beside the wharf and in front of TS Tamatoa. Shortly before 2pm the sound of a Bosun's whistle will be the signal for the audience to wait in silence for the arrival of the Cook Strait ferry MV Straitsman off Somes Island. She will sound her horn as a salute to all WW1 merchant navies. The Port Chaplain and RNZN Chaplain will conduct a service with naval and maritime themes.

Four boats from the TS Tamatoa Sea Cadets and St James Sea Scouts Group will be at the waters' edge. The four boat crews will be presented with leis by dignitaries and asked to place these wreaths in the waves to remember those souls of all nations who sailed over the sea, may have fought at sea and may have died at sea during WW1. The boats will be rowed offshore while the audience sings the Naval Hymn 'Eternal Father, Strong to Save'. The crews will lay the wreaths in the waves and “Toss Oars” as a naval salute. The Commemoration will follow with the reading of The Ode. As the crew's row ashore the audience will sing 'Now is the Hour' and members of the public will be invited to lay their own floral tributes in the waves. Light refreshments will be served at TS Tamatoa’s quarters after the service.

The service complements another WW1 commemorative event being held in Petone in November. The naval war art exhibition Ahoy! WW1 naval artists Lieutenants Esmond & Hal Atkinson RNVR is being held at Alfred Memelink Artspace Gallery, 223 The Esplanade from November 3 - 23, open daily from 10am - 5pm with free entry.

These events are sponsored by Hutt City Council, Lottery Grants Board, New Zealand Micrographic Services, NEC New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Navy and Alfred Memelink Artspace Gallery.

Contact Claire Clark, Event Manager:
Phone - 04 236 7928 or Email -