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All the bells of the Carillon ring out for Armistice Centenary today

Press release from Dept of Internal Affairs
Belltowers throughout New Zealand will be ringing out in the Roaring Chorus on Sunday morning, to commemorate the Armistice Centenary. The Rangimarie peace bell of the National War Memorial Carillon will toll eleven times to mark the start of the two-minute silence of remembrance at 11.00am at the official Armistice Centenary National Ceremony in Wellington. At 11.02am, a celebratory fanfare will be played by the full bells of the carillon, in unison with the Roaring Chorus across New Zealand. A carillon is the largest musical instrument in the world, and Wellington’s example is the thrid largest carillon in the world.

New Zealand’s Roaring Chorus connects with a campaign led by the UK government, supported by the German government, inviting nations to participate in international bellringing. Other countries including the USA are contributing, and even the remote location of Rothera Research Station in the Antarctic is expected to join.

Churches across New Zealand will join in. In Christchurch, where the city’s cathedral was badly damaged after the February 2011 earthquake and its bells are still inoperable, its ringers have formed a band with those at St Paul’s in Papanui where they will ring a quarter peal of Plain Bob Major. St Andrews Anglican Church will also ring out during Armistice commemorations in Cambridge – the sister city of Le Quesnoy – as will First Church of Otago in Dunedin, and many smaller churches nationwide.

Reverend Jacynthia Murphy convinced her parish at St Martin’s at St Chad’s in Sandringham to restore its church bell so it could particpate. The bell had long been silent after its rope had frayed and finally severed, but last month Frank Bartley – the parish’s 80-year-old treasurer – climbed a tall ladder and twisted himself into the tower to fix it.

Sarah Davies, director of the First World War Centenary Programme WW100, reports many churches have registered Armistice Centenary events at WW100.govt.nz/armistice-events. “It is fantastic that so many bellringers are joining the Roaring Chorus. New Zealand will be amongst the first countries in the world to commemorate the Armistice Centenary, and our bells will be echoed around the world as other nations contribute the sound of theirs. It will be poignantly beautiful.”

Historic accounts show that there was spontaneous bellringing in celebration of peace at the time of the Armistice. For instance, a 1918 letter written by a Kinloch girl to her local newspaper says: “The steamer Ben Lomond began to whistle coming up the lake when the news of peace came through. Mum got the cowbell and I got the school bell, and we made a great noise with them” (Otago Witness, 27-11-1918).

Press release from Dept of Internal Affairs
New Zealand commemorates the end of the First World War this weekend. Here are details of how you can get involved – including attending an event, texting a message of remembrance, and watching the live stream of the Armistice Centenary National Ceremony.

The Armistice Centenary gives the opportunity to acknowledge the loss and trauma of the First World War. As we join in remembrance, we can also recapture the relief and jubilation of that important day a century ago.

• Attend an Armistice Centenary event by finding one near you listed on www.WW100.govt.nz/armistice

• On that same webpage from 10.45am on Sunday, watch the live-stream of the Armistice Centenary National Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.

• Send a message of peace, hope or remembrance to the Armistice Beacon. Your message will be displayed with those of New Zealanders across the world on a massive five-metre high digital installation at Pukeahu. Text your message of 140 characters or less to 4544 or submit it online at www.WW100.govt.nz/armistice-beacon where you can read other messages. Remember to include your name in your message, and usual text charges apply.

• Observe a two-minute silence of remembrance at 11.00am on Sunday. Then listen for the silence to be broken by the Roaring Chorus. In commemorations nationwide, thousands are expected to make jubilant noise with vintage car horns, cannons, waiata, cheers, whistles, hooters, bells and even pots and pans as they did 100 years ago when news of the Armistice came through. Fire and Emergency and New Zealand Police have invited available fire appliances and police cars to sound their sirens, and Maritime New Zealand has invited vessels in New Zealand waters to join the commemoration with their horns. Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries, Fullers Ferries and the Interislander ferries will be sounding out, and KiwiRail’s scenic and freight trains will toot their horns. Even the Antarctica New Zealand team at Scott Base will be making a Roaring Chorus on the silent continent to warm up commemorations there.

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