Press Release – New Zealand Defence Force
Personnel of the 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery will mark the 93rd birthday of The Duke of Edinburgh, with a 21-gun salute at midday on Tuesday at Point Jerningham in Wellington.
Point Jerningham is New Zealand’s only permanent saluting battery and is made up of four modified 25 pounder guns. Currently, the battery is used for five pre-planned salutes each year, marking occasions related to the Royal Family. In addition, the battery has fired salutes in support of state welcomes (usually conducted at Government House), official welcomes and ceremonies conducted at Parliament Buildings and salutes to visiting warships.
The tradition of firing salutes grew from naval tradition. A warship would fire its cannons to show that its guns were empty, demonstrating they were unloaded and it had no hostile intent. Today all salutes are fired with blank cartridges – be it artillery, ship’s guns, or small arms.