Kentoris Sing at Auckland Merchant Navy Day Service

September 04, 2015 at 1:38 PM

The Maritime Museum in the Viaduct holds a service every year to remember and commemorate the Merchant Navy. The service is attended by servicemen, their families and many other dignitaries associated with the Navy. Kentoris was invited to perform alongside the NZ Navy Band following their part in the ANZAC Centenary at Auckland Museum in April earlier this year. Kentoris sang Wairua Tapu – a waiata by the Wehi Whanau that is a sacred blessing with strong themes connecting the song to water, which the NZ Navy Kapahaka group also performs. After the service the students then spent some time talking to veterans over a cup of tea and some ANZAC biscuits. 

Merchant Navy Day

The 3rd of September is Merchant Navy Day, which was first officially commemorated in New Zealand in 2010. The date marks the sinking of the first Allied merchant ship in 1939, just hours after the Second World War began. This is the story of the 'fourth service' at war.  Several thousand New Zealanders served in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. These civilian volunteers sailed the ships that delivered troops, military equipment and vital cargoes of food, fuel and raw materials across the world's oceans. This work was so essential to the Allies' war effort that the Merchant Navy was effectively regarded as the fourth service alongside the army, navy and air force.

Work on the ships was tough – but also full of adventure. Merchant seafarers often found themselves in the front lines of the war at sea. Many ships were torpedoed or bombed; survivors sometimes spent days or weeks in lifeboats before being rescued. More than 140 New Zealand merchant seafarers lost their lives, and a similar number were taken prisoner. No other group of New Zealand civilians faced such risks during wartime.


Kentoris is also working towards their final concert for 2015.  Vivaldi: Gloria will feature Italian Baroque solo arias accompanied by harpsichord and a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria – a 30 minute work for choir, organ and soloists.  Saint Kentigern families are invited to attend and enjoy.

Concert: Vivaldi: Gloria
Venue: Saint Kentigern College Chapel
Date: 20September
Time: 5pm

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