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Jan 08 - New Zealand Defence Force Support to the State Funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary

21 January 2008

The Royal New Zealand Navy has been appointed lead service for the special duties in support of the State Funeral for the late Sir Edmund Hillary. Service personnel from the Navy, New Zealand Army, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force have been assigned the following duties to cover the State Funeral proceedings on Monday 21 January at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and on Tuesday 22 January at St Mary’s in Holy Trinity:

  • Insignia Bearer Party,
  • Piper,
  • Drummer,
  • Bearer Party,
  • Wreath Layers, Ice Pick and Tukutuku,
  • Ushers,
  • Car Door Attendants,
  • Bell Duties, and
  • Catering Support.

The 41 Navy personnel have been provided from Frigate HMNZS Te Kaha, Tanker HMNZS Endeavour, Diving Tender HMNZS MANAWANUI and shore establishment HMNZS PHILOMEL. The 27 Air Force personnel have been provided from RNZAF Base Auckland with the Officer assigned for Insignia Bearer Duties from 5 Squadron based at Whenuapai. The Piper has been provided from RNZAF Base Woodbourne. The 24 Army personnel are from 2 LFG in Linton Army Camp.

The Navy Band will supply the drummer and the Bearer Party will comprise of 8 Warrant Officers, 4 from the Navy and 2 from the Army and Air Force.

Under the overall command of Navy Lieutenant Commander Ben Bostustow, the formal Catafalque Party is made up of three shifts, each comprising 18 members of the Navy, Army and Air Force. Commencing this morning, the Catafalque Party will rotate on 4 hour shifts, with the Navy taking the first shift to 12:00 midday today, changeovers will occur from the Army and Air Force every four hours with the Navy to take the final shift tomorrow morning.

The 1956 Ships Bell from HMNZS ENDEAVOUR has been provided by the Navy Museum. The ships bell is from the ship which transported the New Zealand section of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition which included Sir Edmund Hillary to McMurdo Sound in 1956. The ship departed from Bluff 21 December for McMurdo complete with Massey Fergusson Tractors, an aircraft and the building materials to commence the building of Scott Base.

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