Press Release – Christchurch City Council
Friday 29 November 2013
Army to march through the streets of Christchurch
Join Mayor Lianne Dalziel in welcoming 2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/4 RNZIR) as they return to Christchurch for the first time since the removal of the Red Zone cordon on 30 June 2013 – a cordon for which they had provided manpower since the days immediately following the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
Mayor Dalziel says the city of Christchurch is honoured to be able to welcome and support 2/4 RNZIR as they march through the streets at 1pm on Saturday 30 November.
“This Charter Parade is part of a proud tradition,” she says. “The battalion was granted the freedom of the city of Christchurch on 17 January 1966 as the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion – a freedom which entitles them to march through our streets with drums beating, band playing, colours flying, bayonets fixed and swords drawn.”
As per tradition, the battalion will parade through Christchurch streets before being challenged by the New Zealand Police. The battalion will then parade before Mayor Dalziel and Christchurch City Council Acting Chief Executive Jane Parfitt at the Civic Offices on Worcester Boulevard. Following an inspection of the troops by the Mayor and a reading of the Charter granting freedom of entry to the battalion, they will continue on their procession along Worcester Boulevard, through Cathedral Square to Latimer Square.
“It’s a stirring visual experience with a lot of pride attached to it, and we hope that the city turns out to enjoy the spectacle and show their appreciation,” Mayor Dalziel says. “This is Christchurch’s chance to honour this battalion, just as they honour us with their loyal service in times of need – most recently in the wake of the February 2011 earthquake. The Charter Parade is a celebration and affirmation of that relationship.”
– ends –
· 2/4 RNZIR has inherited the customs of the service that were bestowed upon the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion.
· The battalion was formed in February 2013, when the 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion amalgamated with 4 Otago and Southland Battalion of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, forming 2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (2/4 RNZIR). This amalgamation occurred during a parade exercising their freedom of the city of Dunedin.
· 2nd Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and West Coast Battalion last exercised their freedom of the city of Christchurch on 27 June 2009 as part of the 150th anniversary of the battalion’s foundation.