RNZAF Queen's Colour Heads to Woodbourne
21 June 2016
The custody of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) Queen’s Colour will be formally handed over to RNZAF Base Woodbourne this week for safe keeping.
The Queen’s Colour handover parade will take place on Thursday 23 June at Base Woodbourne in conjunction with the graduation of 16/01 Woodbourne Initial Officer Training Course.
Base Commander Wing Commander (WGCDR) Mike Salvador said to hold the Queen’s Colour at Woodbourne was very special.
“It’s both an honour and a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of holding and parading the Queen’s Colour. This is the highest honour the Queen can bestow on our Service and we are extremely proud to display it to all,” he said.
WGCDR Salvador said having the Colour at Woodbourne would provide a teaching and learning point for new recruits.
“It provides us with the unique opportunity to display and parade the Colour in front of our new recruits and Officer Cadets. From the very start of their careers they will be able to see this symbol of great honour to the organisation of which they are now part.
“In the future it will be their responsibility to uphold the reputation of the RNZAF to ensure it remains worthy of holding the Colour,” he said.
There is also a link to Woodbourne that makes having the Colour at Woodbourne all the more special.
“The Queen’s Colour was designed by Eve Witheridge (nee Snow) who was one of the original 99 British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who were selected and sailed to New Zealand to work for the RNZAF in 1951.
“Eve was a draughtsman, stationed at Woodbourne, who designed the Queen’s Colour. She was also on the parade when the Queen presented the Colour,” said WGCDR Salvador.
The Colour is a symbol of our forebears’ success and the reputation they have established, he said.
The RNZAF Queen’s Colour will be displayed at Base Woodbourne’s Officers’ Mess.
Media are invited to view the handover parade and capture imagery at Base Woodbourne on Thursday 23 June 2016 at 1.30pm — please register with Charlene Smart, Senior Communications Advisor (South), Defence Public Affairs on 021 221 4097.
Queen Elizabeth II presented her Colour to the RNZAF during her 1953-54 tour of New Zealand. The custody of the Queen’s Colour passes from operational support wing to operational support wing, biannually. The responsibility of for its safe keeping and preservation is vested in the commander of the Base which has custody of the Colour.
The Queen’s Colour is of Royal Air Force blue. It has a border in a motif of fern leaves, a fringe, cord and tassels of mixed red and gold silk. It bears the Royal Cypher surmounted by the St Edward crown in the centre, in the canton the Union and in the second quarter the four main stars of the Southern Cross in gold. The staff is 2.45 metres (8 feet 1 inch) in length surmounted by a crown and lion.
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