Charter Parade

A Charter will be bestowed to the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) by the Tararua District Council on Friday, 7 October 2016 at 12noon.

The Parade will start at The Hub carpark with the Battalion accompanied by the Dannevirke Pipe Band, marching from there to High Street.

They will then advance up High Street to the intersection of Gordon Street, where they will be halted by a Senior Police Officer who will then challenge the Commanding Officer before allowing the Battalion to march on.

Under command of Lieutenant Colonel Jason Dyhrberg, the Battalion will then march to the Clock Tower in Ward Street, where the handing over of the Charter will take place.

Army dignitaries will be attending, as well other Mayors from the region and local dignitaries.

The Honorary Colonel Ray Seymour will then invite Mayor Roly Ellis to inspect the Parade. The Charter will be read by Blair King.

The Charter will then be presented to Colonel Ray Seymour by the Mayor, and gifts exchanged before the Battalion marches off to the Railway Station via Station Road.

The Mayor would be grateful for a good turn out as the parade is after school sports. This is a once in a lifetime occasion, as Charters are rarely given, and this is the first time that 1st Battalion RNZIR has accepted one in their history. This has been instigated by the Mayor, a former British Army officer, who believes that it is good to have a close relationship with the Army, not only so they can train in the district for overseas deployment, but also for Civil Defence call outs.

The area around the clock tower will be roped off from just before 12pm for the parade, so please keep out of this area. Every other year, a Freedom parade will be held alternatively in Pahiatua and Dannevirke. We look forward to seeing you all.


Background

Freedom of the City/ Borough 

Many cities in the United Kingdom have conferred upon famous county regiments the so-called freedom of their corporations.  Without variation it is stated that this gives a particular regiment the right to march through the streets with ‘drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed’.  While the desire of the local burgesses to honour the gallant prowess of their regiments while flattering the appropriate city by seeming imitation must be appreciated, the civic authorities are wrong if they believe that they can ordain how the Queen’s troops shall march upon occasions of ceremony, or indeed at any time.  The Queen’s soldiers can proceed in any manner their commander may direct – provided of course that they behave themselves.  The sole exception is the city of London, which enjoys unique privileges.

Freedom of the city is an ancient honour dating back to ancient Rome which regarded the “pomerium’ , the boundary of the city, as sacred. Promagistrates and generals were forbidden from entering  the city. Similar laws were passed by other European cities throughout the Medieval era, to protect public security and civic rights. As a result soldiers would be forced to camp outside the walls of the city. The freedom of the city was an honour granted only to troops which earned the trust of the local populace, either through some valiant action or simply by being a familiar presence.

Boroughs.  In the United Kingdom certain boroughs have a statutory right to admit as honorary freemen persons of distinction and persons who have rendered eminent service to the borough.  Associated with this right, but not authorised by statute, is the right of freedom of entry occasionally granted to regiments that have rendered conspicuous service and are associated with the borough.  This custom, which has been widely followed throughout the Commonwealth of Nations as well as in the United Kingdom, provides a dignified and satisfactory means of enabling a corporation to honour a distinguished regiment, thereby affecting a very desirable liaison between the local authority and the Army.  The granting of a freedom by a city or borough is, therefore, a privilege that should neither be lightly given nor lightly accepted.

In the past in New Zealand, certain local bodies have granted freedoms to other than units as such, for example – static camps.  While the honour of such privileges is recognised, nevertheless it is desirable that they should be restricted to units, the commanding officers of which are of the rank of lieutenant colonel or higher, having a close and preferably territorial association with a local body.  Independent units under command of a major may also be acceptable given that certain conditions have been met.  It is also desirable that the local body granting the privilege should be of at least borough status. 

While the granting and acceptance of the freedom of a city is a domestic matter to be resolved between the local authority and the unit concerned, nevertheless, the custom involves obligation as well as privileges, therefore acceptance of freedom privileges by any unit or establishment is subject to approval by Army General Staff.  These privileges often referred to as ‘Freedom of the City’ include, as a rule, the right to march ceremonially through the city with colours flying, drums beating, and bayonets fixed, without formal permission from the municipal authorities. 

Point of War

Played during the General Salute:

The point-of-war is probably the most discordant and stirring of all the military band’s repertoire.  This is no accident, it was designed to attract attention through the noise and clamour of the 18th century European battlefield.

British infantry battalions usually placed their colours near the commander who was controlling the battalion’s manoeuvres during the battle. 

Every battalion, in those days, took its musicians into battle – drummers, buglers, fifers, et cetera.  These noisemakers could be used by the battalion commander to sound an alarm if the colours were threatened.  The various bandsmen would beat or blow their instruments as loudly and rapidly as they could to attract the attention of nearby infantrymen who would rally to the defence of the colours and the battalion commander.

This cacophony of sound became associated with the infantry’s colours and was carried over into peacetime and refined.



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