The Waitati Militia is armed and ready for the Waitati New
Year's Eve Battle.
Militia members spent yesterday preparing weapons and
costumes for tomorrow's battle royal when Clan McGillicuddy
will defend Almond Castle, in Almond St, Waitati.
One of the militia's most revered combatants will be missing.
Peter (Pete) Maxwell Forbes Smith, of Waitati, who operated
under the alias ''Escherichia von Coli'' on militia missions,
died on Saturday. He was 73.
Mr Smith was to have been the honoured guest at tomorrow's
''This was to have been Pete's last battle. It was being held
in his honour,'' battle organiser Amanda ''Mandy Mayhem''
Morrison said yesterday.
''But, he will still be attending the battle. He'll be there
in his box as a higher presence.''
The ''pacifist warfare'' enthusiasts fight their battles
using strictly non-harmful weapons, such as newspaper swords
and cardboard shields.
Water bombs, flour bombs, porridge bombs, funnelators (huge
slingshots) and meths mortars, armed with soft or rotten
fruit, may also be used.
Psychological weapons, such as the can-can charge, heavy duty
assault poetry, mass singing and vicious taunting, are also
Ms Morrison said the battle would start with the traditional
trading of insults between the Waitati Militia and the
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt will attempt to act as
peacemaker during the battle, which will start at 1pm. It
will be followed by the Militia Ball in the Waitati Hall.
A service for Mr Smith will be held at 1pm on Wednesday in
the Waitati Hall.