Parading in NZ.
In the southern hemisphere July is in the middle of winter so parading becomes difficult, even though the Orange Order celebrates the 12th July which happens to be the Orangemen’s Day.
In recent times in the northern hemisphere the Twelfth is presented as a cultural, family-friendly event and has been re-branded as Orangefest.
In New Zealand the twelfth is celebrated indoors with a special dinner.
There has however been a history of parading in NZ, not always positive, but certainly boisterous.
The New Zealand Journal of History (The University of Auckland library) has an interesting article titled “The ‘Battle of the Borough’ and the ‘Saige O Timaru‘: SECTARIAN RIOT IN COLONIAL CANTERBURY” which describes events around Christmas time in 1879 when the Canterbury Orangemen attempted their first public procession. The Orangemen and the Hibernians (the Catholics) were eventually read the “Riot Act” over the attempt. Later on Boxing Day 1879 in Canterbury there were two Orange processions and two Catholic parties in opposition. Both sides taking the initiative.
At this early time there was in general an anti-Irish, anti-Catholic feeling among the population, which contributed to the development of a Catholic community apart from the Protestant mainstream.
But times have changed.
The lack of tolerance for intolerance forced both sides to change and recognise that this was not the NZ way.
There is one very important and large parade that does occur during the NZ summer, and that is the St Patrick’s Festival which occurs in March. It’s aim in NZ is to presented a cultural, family-friendly event encompassing all things Irish.
The festival and parade has a mission to deliver to the Greater Auckland Community a world class festival that is professionally organised and promotes and fosters the Irish culture and traditions and also reflects the true nature of a progressive, diverse and modern Irish community in NZ.
With a final word (with tongue-n-cheek) we take a light hearted look at the “new “ method of parading, this sits well with New Zealander’s as the NZ Army band displayed this style in the 2013 Edinburgh Tattoo.