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Remembering the Battle of Gate Pa

Wednesday 28 October 2020

PRICES

Free

WHEN

Wed 28 October, 16:00-17:00

WHERE

St. George Anglican Church, 1 Church Street, Gate Pa, Tauranga

The Anglican Parish of Gate Pa invites you to a short service at St. Georges Anglican Church to commemorate the Battle of Gate Pa and to honour all those who fought and died in this tragic event.

We are clearly not doing this at the normal time of year. Sadly the Covid-19 lockdown prevented us remembering this battle on this site in April, although we were able to offer something on YouTube. But we think it important to find a time to gather in person and to recall these events. So we are once again offering a space to remember those who fought and died here as part of the wider conflict; to reflect on the consequences of these military engagements for nga iwi o Tauranga Moana; and to offer karakia/prayers for the future of Tauranga.

We have decided to offer our event October 28th, Te Putake o te Riri, He Ra Maumahara; the national day of commemoration of the New Zealand Wars and conflicts. I hope you are able to come and to take part.

Our service will start at 4pm, when the British forces began their march up Pukehinahina. We will hear an account of the battle and then have a time of silent reflection with images playing. At 4.30pm the bell will be rung 60 times to remember the approximately 60 men who lost their lives in the battle. We will finish with prayers/karakia for the future of our city. We are still working on a guest speaker to speak about the significance of this battle for us as a city, and what might happen in the future to acknowledge our history. This will be followed by refreshments in the lounge.

Because St. Georges Church sits on the site of the Battle of Gate Pa we feel a sense of responsibility for holding the story of both the battles and the aftermath with integrity, and to offer ways the people can hear about, engage with and reflect upon these stories and what they mean for us living in Tauranga Moana. 2014 saw huge gatherings commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battles of Gate Pa and Te Ranga with some very significant events held on the actual days of the battles. It continues to be our hope that these would be the beginning of some ongoing events for the people of this city to engage with the story of the New Zealand Land Wars and our colonial past and how these shape present day New Zealand society. We offer this simple service as a contribution to this ongoing commemoration. It may be that other groups will offer other events as well.

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