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Merchant Navy 80th Anniversary

11:00 am - Tuesday 3rd September 2019

National Commemoration of Merchant Navy Day. 80th Anniversary

On Tuesday 3 September there will be a 1-hour service at the National War Memorial Hall of Memories to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Merchant Navy Day. There is no guarantee of getting into the Hall of Memories, however this year there will be an Overflow Marquee outside.

The 3rd September is Merchant Navy Day, recognised around the world as a day to remember the sacrifice of seafarers who died in war. It is also an opportunity to show appreciation for shipping today in New Zealand and to look to the future of ships and seamen to come.

Merchant seaman are civilians not military people. In the First and Second World Wars the Merchant Services suffered heavy losses from German attacks. 3,500 ships were sunk in the Second World War and more than 30,000 merchant seafarers lost their lives while working to provide Britain with the means to survive. Among those who died, 135 where New Zealanders. Around 140 New Zealand merchant seafarers were taken as Prisoners Of War.

Today merchant ships and seafarers still face many dangers from things such as rough seas, storms and fires. Merchant seaman have been caught up in a number of armed conflicts since World War II including wars in Asia, the South Atlantic and in the Middle East. Even modern day piracy in certain parts of the world continues to be a threat to ships and seafarers.

Follow our Maritime Festival page to keep up to date with all the activities happening this weekend.

More info: Maritime Festival