Featherston honoured with Battalion Charter

A Charter signed between the Mayor, on behalf of the Featherston township, and the 5th/7th Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment was celebrated with a ceremonial parade on Saturday 1st December. The Battalion marched from Card Reserve to Clifford Square.

The 5th/7th Battalion has a special relationship with the town of Featherston that has been formed over past years through its involvement in ANZAC parades and other community events. The signing of the Charter formalises this relationship.

Featherston also has a deep, historical significance to the New Zealand Army. It was home to the largest ever military camp for soldiers deployed during WW1. This was marked on the Armistice Centennial with the unveiling of the Featherston Camp Sculpture, which is already becoming a popular attraction in the town.

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier says, “I’m delighted for Featherston to be receiving this honour. The 5th/7th Battalion has close ties to the town and through this Charter it is making an ongoing commitment to the town.

“The Charter means that the Battalion will continue to support ANZAC Day, Armistice Day commemorations and hold further Charter Parades in the town in the future.

“I feel honoured to have been involved and to have had the opportunity to publically recognise the achievements of the Battalion’s territorial soldiers,” says Ms Napier.

Regimental Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class One Brett Te Wheoro says, "we are honoured to receive this privilege from the SWDC and the Town of Featherson. Our relationship with Featherston is unique and close.

“Many of our forebears trekked over the Rimutaka's daily and lived and trained in Featherston and Trentham before departing for foreign shores for the First World War. The men and women of the Battalion are looking forward to marching through town with Drums Beating, Band Playing, Colours flying, Bayonets Fixed and Swords Drawn."

Featherston joins six other New Zealand towns with charters with the 5th/7th Battalion. These are Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Wellington, Whanganui and Stratford.