The Battle of Passchendaele 1917 - 106th Anniversary
Background music was provided during the laying of wreaths and poppies, and the delicate tune Nimrod, composed by Sir Edward Elgar, was performed as a feature item. Sgt Bill Rimmer sounded Last Post and Reveille, a service he has so ably provided on so many occasions. The national anthems of Aotearoa New Zealand and Belgium were further reminders of the international connections indelibly forged between our small part of the World and so many distant lands where New Zealanders have served and continue to do so.
A reduced RNZA Band of our Musical Director WO1 Steven Booth and 17 players supported the 106th Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, held on Sunday 15 October 2023, in the World War 1 Hall of Memories at Auckland Museum. The event provided a poignant reminder of the 5,000 New Zealanders who lost their lives in Flanders. Bob Davis, the President and Honorary Secretary of The Passchendaele Society (as well as the RNZA Band’s Secretary & Events Manager) acted as MC of the Ceremony
Papatoetoe Christmas Community Event
A 17-piece band combo, led by WO1 Steven Booth, rounded off 2020, a year like no other due to COVID, with a most pleasant engagement at a goodwill Christmas Community event hosted by Davis Funeral Services on Saturday 19thDecember, in an attractive garden setting in Papatoetoe, Auckland in glorious weather. We now go into the holiday break and return to band practice on Tuesday 19th January 2021. Best wishes for the festive season to all our followers.
Ryman Healthcare Support
We are very pleased to announce that Ryman Healthcare have extended their support of the Band for a further two years, until 31st March 2023, taking the excellent relationship to seven years, during which time we will have played 43 concerts at their retirement villages.
The Band performed their annual ‘Morning Melodies’ concert at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna on Monday 9thNovember 2020, including a commemorative segment for Armistice. They were very pleased to welcome their Patrons, Colonel Commandant of Royal NZ Artillery Brigadier Paul Southwell and RtHon Sir Don McKinnon, who made long service awards to SGT Vic Holmes and to Jessica Bloemendal, widow of SSGT Alan Bloemendal. Also in the audience was the RSM of 16th Field Regiment RNZA WO1 Heath Southcombe who facilitated the presence of the 105mm howitzer seen on the theatre forecourt.
Auckland War Memorial Museum
SGT Bill Rimmer sounding ‘Last Post’ at the Annual Commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele at Auckland War Memorial Museum on Sunday 11th October 2020.
Photograph: Jessie Liu
Meet GNR Arty
GNR Arty is the Band’s mascot, made by Lynne Knowles more than 35 years ago - and he hasn’t aged in all that time. He has attended countless parades, concerts and tattoos wherever the Band has travelled. Maybe it’s time he was promoted.
Nick & Kendall's Big Day
Congratulations to BDR Nick Harris and Kendall Colvey who were married in Marlborough on 29thFebruary. Nick was our Drum Major but took extended leave at the end of 2019 due to the demands of his job at NZ Post. Kendall was born in Kauai, Hawaii and came to New Zealand with her parents in 1997. She met Nick in 2012 at Auckland University in their Ancient Egyptian Heiroglyphics class. We wish them every happiness and look forward to Nick returning to the Band, hopefully when the virus situation allows.
Presentation to Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark
Band Secretary Bob Davis made a presentation to Chief of Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Clark at RNZAF Base Auckland, Whenuapai on Friday 31st January 2020 in appreciation of the Air Force’s generous provision of flights to Brisbane (RAAF Amberley) in November 2019 when the Band took part in Armistice Commemorations in Brisbane and Southport (Gold Coast), played a combined open-air concert with the Royal Australian Artillery Band and performed five other engagements during their 10-day Trans-Tasman Goodwill Tour.
At their concert at Ryman Healthcare Edmund Hillary Retirement Village, Remuera, Auckland on Father’s Day 2019 (September 1st ) Charmaine Taplin gave this photograph to the Band, explaining that it was of her father, Eric Tattersall, as a member of the Royal NZ Artillery Band in 1908.
RtHon Sir Don McKinnon ONZ GCVO
The Band of The Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery is proud to announce that RtHon Sir Don McKinnon ONZ GCVO has agreed to become Co-Patron of the Band.
Sir Don is a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations. His father, Major-General Walter McKinnon CB CBE, was New Zealand Chief of General Staff in the 1960s. Sir Don himself served in the Royal NZ Artillery Reserve.
The Band looks forward to developing a strong relationship with Sir Don, and welcomes him into the Artillery Band family.
SGT Brian Leslie Mackay EM
Sadly, we have to report the death on 25th January of SGT Brian Leslie Mackay EM at the age of 82, after a long illness stoically borne. Brian was Drum Major of The Royal NZ Artillery Band from 1975 to 1989, New Zealand Champion Drum Major in 1983, and New Zealand Brass Band Association Chief Drill Judge 1990-1995. He and his wife Bev had retired to the Kapiti Coast, where Brian spent his last year at Eldon Lodge Rest Home, Paraparaumu.
Brian was one of life’s great characters, a typical imposing Drum Major who was very proud of his role with the Band, and the source of countless colourful stories! RIP.
The band send the warmest condolences to Bev and their family.
Lone Bugler at Armistice Field of Remembrance
The Band of The Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery was proud that one of its members, SGT Bill Rimmer, committed himself to travelling from Devonport to Auckland Domain to sound ‘Reveille’ at 7.00am every morning, and ‘Last Post’ every evening at 8.00pm, for 22 consecutive days either side of Armistice 100 on November 11th.
The Band itself played an Armistice Concert at Waiuku War Memorial Hall at 2.00pm on Armistice Day, and a programme of WW1 marches and songs in the Grand Foyer of Auckland War Memorial Museum that same evening.
Lone Bugler. Sergeant Bill Rimmer, RNZA – performed the daily ritual of playing Reveille & Last Post at the Armistice Field of Remembrance during the period 19 October to 15 November 2018 at Auckland Domain.
This significant & solemn daily ritual honoured the service & sacrifice of 18,277 New Zealanders who gave their lives in service to our nation during World War One. It also honoured the families of those who served.
The Fields of Remembrance Trust acknowledged Bill Rimmer’s generosity of spirit and his insistence that this was not a duty but a privilege and he not accept their offer of remuneration or reimbursement of expenses.
The Band mourns the untimely loss of their former Director of Music, WO1 Dennis Schofield, who passed away at North Shore Hospital, Auckland on Thursday 16th November 2017, at the age of 73 after a long and stoic battle. Dennis was a life-long brass bandsman, and he steered the Royal NZ Artillery Band through great times and difficult ones for some 14 years, with his musicianship, commitment, management skills and good humour. We will miss his enthusiastic attendance at our events.
We send our warmest sympathy to his wife Gail, and their family at this sad time.
The Victorious Filimoehala Family
The Filimoehala family won the Family Category at the Auckland Bands Association annual concert on Jun11th. L-R Anne, Caroline, Fasi, William, Linda
03 - 13.11.2016
The Band was invited to play at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on Armistice Day, Friday 11th November 2016, as part of Trans-Tasman World War 1 Commemorations. This was a great privilege to represent New Zealand at this significant annual event, which was attended by thousands of people.
The Band took the opportunity to extend their visit, from 3rd to 13th November, to perform a wide range of other engagements including:
Joint Concert with Ballarat Brass
Visit to the Australian Army School of Music
Masterclass & Concert at Christ Church School, South Yarra
Parade for the Re-Dedication of Frankston War Memorial
Concert at Frankston RSL
Open-air Concert in Federation Square
Concert at Caulfield RSL
Concert at Weary Dunlop Retirement Village, Wheelers Hill
The Royal NZ Air Force flew the Band to and from Melbourne.