HomeObject Detail
Photography and Multimedia

WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate; 19 July 1919; 00486

WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate; 19 July 1919; 00486
Name/Title
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
About this object


Waimate Peace Day parade. Float depicting themes of peace and hope.
Named - Back row from left: McLaughlan (driver), Rene Smith, Olive Scott, Kit McDonald and Misses Wilkie
Front row second from left: B Healey

On the 28th June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, bringing an official end to the war between the Allies and Germany. Peace celebrations were held throughout New Zealand in July 1919 –everywhere from the main centres and their surrounding suburbs to small towns and rural areas. Following advice from the government, most communities held their celebrations on Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th and Monday 21st of July.
Proposed plans for celebrations were distributed by the Department of Internal Affairs as a guide for local governing bodies who were expected to organise and, along with public subscriptions, fund the events. Local authorities were also entitled to subsidies from central government. Employers were to grant their employees leave during the Peace celebrations and to pay full wages and salaries to cover this. Most communities followed the format announced by the government, which called for a Day of Thanksgiving, a Soldiers’ Day and a Children’s Day.
The Waimate District community entered into the spirit of the occasion and after some debate the Peace Celebrations Committee resolved that one day of celebrations be held. This was to focus on a procession that included a soldiers’ parade, a fancy dress parade and children’s entertainment. The following day (Sunday 20th July) was set aside for a united Thanksgiving service.
On Saturday 19th July the weather dawned fine. Those involved in the procession were assembled at the Drill Shed. Judges of the float entries were in position on the balcony of the Waimate Hotel and a reported crowd of 4,000 waited in anticipation for the celebrations to begin. The parade included returned Soldiers, Territorials and Cadets. Local brass bands provided the music. Schools of the town and district were represented in the parade as were local businesses, farming and trades people. A variety of community groups had decorated floats adorned with patriotic memorabilia. Peace and victory were the themes of the occasion. There were individuals in fancy dress parading on horseback, on bicycles or walking.
The procession paused outside the local Post Office for speeches given by the Waimate Mayor (Mr W.E. Evans) and County Council Chairman (Mr T.L. Hart). It was a time for reflection on the consequences of the war; on the brokenness and war weariness as a result of ‘the last four and half years of the greatest strain’. It was also a time of honouring the empire where ‘the call of the Mother nation was heard by her children in all corners of the globe’. Expressions of gratitude and pride were conveyed to members of the Returned Services Association recognising them for their ‘gallantry and courage amidst nerve shattering and hellish torments… and hideous ferocity’.
Now it was time for celebration that it was over. Feasting followed the Waimate Peace Day Parade. 800 children congregated for lunch at the Drill shed before attending a sports afternoon on Queen Street and members of the RSA lunched in St Augustine’s Hall. The day’s celebrations concluded with a fireworks display in Seddon Square. The next day a Thanksgiving service was held in the Olympia Hall.
New Zealand played an official part in a number of peace celebrations overseas. New Zealand soldiers participated in the victory parade of Allied forces in France on Bastille Day (14th July 1919) and Kiwi soldiers subsequently took part in the victory parade in London (19th July 1919), marching with their ANZAC partners. Soldiers also took part in a military procession in Sydney on 19th July.


Place Notes
Queen Street parade
Place Made
Waimate
Date Made
19 July 1919
Subject and Association Keywords
WWI
Peace celebrations
Object Type
Photograph
Object number
00486

Tags



Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.

Results from DigitalNZ

Waimate Peace Day Parade. Procession assembling. L...
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives
Waimate Peace Day parade. Participants in fancy dr...
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives
Waimate Peace Day Parade. CFCA (Canterbury Farmers...
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives
Waimate Peace Day parade. Local builders in parade...
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives
Waimate Peace Day parade. Procession assembling in...
WWI Peace Day Celebrations in Waimate
Waimate Historical Museum and Archives
More...