5 Mar 2010

Maori Battalion veterans gather for reunion

8:59 am on 5 March 2010

Emotional scenes are expected at Orakei marae in Auckland on Friday as more than half the surviving members of the 28 Maori Battalion gather for their annual reunion.

Convener Brian How says 28 of the 50 veterans have indicated they will attend. The youngest is 85 years.

Members of A Company will be welcomed at 10am, and they in turn will welcome their old comrades from B, C and D companies at noon.

A visit to Papakura Army barracks will be held on Saturday, followed by a regimental dinner at Vector Arena.

There will be a dawn service on Sunday at the Okahu Bay chapel and a memorial service at the Hall of Memories at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Mr How says the 28th Maori Battalion is a special group.

Waatea News reports veterans and supporters will discuss a plan to set up a memorial trust for when the last of the old soldiers dies.