Commemoration rumblings

Peter Mead.
Peter Mead.
Hostilities emerged yesterday in a skirmish over how the 700th anniversary next year of the Battle of Bannockburn should be marked in the Central Otago township.

Two groups have sought promotional funding from the Cromwell Community Board for events to to mark the occasion in June 2014. The Cromwell and Districts Promotions Group is still finalising its plans and a separate group, with former mayor Peter Mead as spokesman, is suggesting a series of six events centred on Bannockburn.

''We don't agree with the promotion group and we don't agree with what they did at their last celebration [in June 2002] - the mock war and porridge wrestling,'' Mr Mead told the community board meeting yesterday.

The ''alternative'' promoted by his group included a concert by brass and pipe bands, Highland games, lectures about Scottish writers, and about the impact the Scots settlers had on the formation of Bannockburn and Cromwell. That group has sought $4000 for the event and planned to seek feedback from the Bannockburn community about its plans.

Board chairman Neil Gillespie asked if there was any chance the two groups '' might see eye to eye ... or are we going to have another Battle of Bannockburn all over again?''

The Cromwell promotions group asked for $5000 for events to mark the anniversary and group secretary Terry Emmitt said the activities could be based in Bannockburn or at the Highlands Motorsport Park. The board voted to allocate $4000 to the promotions group as an umbrella group for activities marking the anniversary.

The Battle of Bannockburn took place during the First War of Scottish Independence, when Robert the Bruce defeated the English on June 24, 1314, at Bannockburn, south of Stirling in Scotland.


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