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Armistice Day centenary

Saturday November 03, 2018 Written by Published in Local

A special service to mark the centenary of the armistice that ended World War One and to honour the 500 Cook Islanders who served in World War One, will be held at the cenotaph outside the Ministry of Justice building on Sunday, November 11.


The anniversary of the armistice is traditionally held at 11am on November 11 and in Rarotonga, those taking part are asked to be there by 10.40am. Guests and spectators will then be seated and at 11am there will be one minutes’ silence, followed by The Ode and the sounding of Reveille.

The service itself will be followed by an address by New Zealand High Commissioner Peter Marshall, and the laying of wreaths.

The Cook Islands made a huge contribution to the war effort considering the small size of the country, and the service is expected to attract plenty of interest.

It will preceded at 6am by a lone bagpiper playing the Lament at the cenotaph.

According to the New Zealand History Website, the First World War finally came to a close with the signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allied Powers on November 11, 1918. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns famously fell silent.

In New Zealand, celebrations for the various armistices celebrated that year had similarities with each other, with those held overseas, and with other celebrations in the past. Bells rang, bunting went up, songs were sung and speeches made.

More organised celebrations came later in the day or over the following days. Most people anticipated the armistice with Germany and made plans in advance.

Variations in the celebrations reflected the perceived importance of the various surrenders, the depth and spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

            - CS/NZ History

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