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Albany Convoy Commemorative Event

Sailors from HMNZS TE KAHA take part in the Troop March and Commemorative Service at Albany
Sailors from HMNZS TE KAHA take part in the Troop March and Commemorative Service at Albany

3 November 2014

The Albany Convoy Commemorative Event (31 October-2 November) marked the 100th anniversary of the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) troopships meeting then departing together to sail for Egypt. Many of the soldiers on that voyage would be sent to Turkey to fight in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

"We are proud to stand beside our Australian counterparts to mark the centenary of the beginnings of what would later become the Anzac tradition – a tradition of courage, comradeship and commitment that remain core values of our Defence Force today," Major (MAJ) Timmi Tuatini, the NZDF contingent commander, says.

The inclusion of Reserve and Cadet Forces personnel is a direct acknowledgement of the soldiers who left New Zealand with the first NZEF one hundred years ago.

"One of the reasons New Zealand was able to raise a force of 8,500 men in such a short period of time was due to the New Zealand’s standing Territorial Forces.

"Cadet training established in New Zealand fifty years before the outbreak of the First World War meant the NZEF of 1914 was a comparatively well-trained and highly skilled force," says MAJ Tuatini.

The contingent includes a three-person flag party, twenty Reserve Forces personnel, three New Zealand Cadet Force cadets, and ten members of the NZDF Māori Cultural Group. It was joined in Albany by HMNZS Te Kaha that set sail from Wellington on 16 October, marking the centenary of the departure of ten ships carrying New Zealand troops to Albany.

The NZDF contingent took part in several events over the weekend. The focus of the weekend’s commemorations on Saturday 1 November featured a Troop March and Commemorative Service, the opening of Albany’s National Anzac Centre, and the Ships Symbolic Departure involving HMNZS Te Kaha, five Royal Australian Navy vessels, and a Japanese naval vessel.

Other key events involving NZDF personnel included the Royal Australian Navy’s Ceremonial Sunset Service on 31 October, performances by the NZDF Maori Cultural Group at concerts across the weekend, and a Ships Open Day on Sunday 2 November.

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