Mobile Unit. V.E. Day Speeches
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A series of recordings of broadcast speeches and singing at V.E. Day celebrations in Dunedin, 8-10 May 1945.
Civic ceremonies were held in the Octagon on both 9 and 10 May, and a Victory Concert was also held on the evening of 10 May. It is unclear at which of these events some of these recordings were made.
[From www.nzhistory.govt.nz: Germany surrendered in the early afternoon of 7 May 1945, New Zealand time. The news became known the next morning, with huge headlines in the morning papers. But the acting prime minister Walter Nash, insisted that celebrations should wait until British Prime Minister Winston Churchill officially announced the peace, which would not be heard in New Zealand until 1 a.m. on 9 May. Only Dunedin bucked the trend. There, the holding of the university's capping parade on 8 May released the inhibitions. By midday the factory workers had downed tools. The town hall bells were rung, and the mayor held a short ceremony in the Octagon.]
V.E. Day in Dunedin [8 or 9 May 1945] 7am sirens and ringing church bells.
[Probably 9 or 10 May 1945] The Mayor of Dunedin Donald Cameron welcomes citizens to a ceremony in the Octagon and welcomes the Minister of Defence Hon. F. Jones, who is present. He notes the ceremony is now 'on the air' and sends greetings to citizens who cannot attend, especially those who are in hospital or have been bereaved by the war. He mentions the residents of the Montecillio Veteran's home.
Mr Cameron thanks those who have helped organise the service, making special mention of the university students who have added an element of hilarity and fun into proceedings. The combined choirs then sing 'Abide with Me'.
Opening remarks of Hon F. Jones, Minister of Defence. He pays tribute to the service personnel of Dunedin and the 51st (Scots) Division which fought alongside New Zealanders in the Middle East.[incomplete]
Recordings from the Citizen's Choral Thanksgiving Service held in the Octagon, [10.30 am 10 May 1945]: Assembled crowd led by the Mayor Donald Cameron sing, The Doxology ' Praise God from whom all blessings flow'', 'God defend New Zealand', 'All people that on earth do dwell', "O God our help in ages past", "Onward Christian Soldiers'. Comment by the Mayor and three cheers for New Zealand personnel overseas. The National Anthem, 'God save the King'. Mr Cameron calls for three cheers for the Mother Country, Scotland and the Empire. Combined bands play "The Invercargill March". 4YA announcer signs off from the relay from the Town Hall balcony.
Recordings from Dunedin's Victory Concert in the Town Hall [10 May 1945] Commentator crosses to speech by the Mayor of Dunedin Donald Cameron announcing various city celebrations, including a charity rugby match at Carisbrook in aid of the Patriotic Fund. He announces the concert line-up, Mr Arthur McDonald will be singing tonight in place of Mr Laurenson, who has lost his voice. He introduces other speakers, who are not heard on this recording. The concert begins with the combined male choirs lead by Ernest Drake, singing 'Creation's Hymn' (Beethoven) and 'Border Ballad' (Maunder).
Relay from the Octagon [10 or 11 May?] Announcer describes a march past by a band and girls of Cadbury Fry Hudson's champion march-past team. He notes few people are present as it is early morning and celebrations have been going already for nearly two days. The Kaikorai Band and Burns Pipe Band are taking part this morning. [A tram passes in the background.] The announcer fills by talking about the role bands have played the war.
The Burns Pipe Band passes heading towards Hanover Street. The Dunedin Highland Band, First Otago Regiment and Kaikorai Bands also pass.
Reference number 5441
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Nonfiction radio programs
Cameron, Donald Charles, 1877-1962, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Jones, Frederick, 1884-1966, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Kaikorai Brass Band, Performer
Dunedin Pipe Band, Performer
Burns Pipe Band, Performer
4YA (Radio station : Dunedin, N.Z.), Broadcaster
Date 08 May 1945