Over a hundred years ago, men from Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough, the West Coast and further afield came to the regional Military Training Camps established at Tapawera at the start of WW1. The Camp beside Tapawera was just over 50km from Nelson at the end of the railway line; and men came by boat, train, horse and on foot before they went off to serve in the War.
This year, to mark the centenary of signing the Armistice in November 1918, that brought the First World War to an end, the Tapawera community is hosting a special weekend event for the Nelson Tasman region. Tapawera will come alive for the weekend with period costumes, vintage vehicles, ‘bell’ tents, music and more as this small rural town nestled in the Motueka valley remembers the sacrifices made by the men and women who went to the War, and the challenge for them and their communities in the soldiers’ homecoming.
On Sunday 11th November at 11a.m, exactly a hundred years since the peace declaration was signed, there will be the traditional Armistice service. It will be followed by a parade to the Military Training Camp grounds with regional displays there to illustrate what the ‘return home’ meant and a regional closing ceremony. We will have a special ‘Memories Tent’ for people attending, to share how members of their family played a part, and we welcome all groups and communities to be part of the event.
Throughout the weekend there will be a variety of activities to enjoy, ranging from an interactive Theatre of Peace, WW1 poetry and music. There will be films, heritage-themed local bus trips, music, bands, a commemorative rugby match, craft fair, displays and local entertainment.
Enquiries and to book display or craft stall sites, phone Sandy on 021 257 2394.
Visitors are welcome to come and stay from Friday 9th November for the weekend and, as well as learning more about the huge impact that the First World War had on our society, enjoy the chance to stay in our picturesque valley close to the Kahurangi National Park.
1)Military camp. 2) The White Heart of Tapawera by Maurice Taylor. Re-creation of the long lost Regimental Emblem of the Nelson Marlborough & West Coast Regiment in Tapawera. Full Story 3) Beyond Measure, Display which comprises 220 screen printed bandages modelled on WW1 First Field Dressings. The screen printed images are the soldiers remembered on the Kohatu War Memorial. 4) Throughout the weekend there will be a variety of activities to enjoy, ranging from an interactive Theatre of Peace to heritage bus trips and displays.