U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Old St. Paul's welcomes Marines

By Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez | | September 16, 2011

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The U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner, stands with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

The U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, David Huebner, stands with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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A 48-star U.S. flag and the colors of the 2nd Marine Division are displayed at Old St. Paul's cathedral. The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performed a concert here Sept. 16. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

A 48-star U.S. flag and the colors of the 2nd Marine Division are displayed at Old St. Paul's cathedral. The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band performed a concert here Sept. 16. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Staff Sgt. Charles Harbison, a bass player for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

Staff Sgt. Charles Harbison, a bass player for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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A flute player with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

A flute player with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Gleason, the bandmaster for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, narrates the concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Gleason, the bandmaster for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band, narrates the concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


Photo Details | Download |

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II.

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band plays at a concert held at Old St. Paul's here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Marines landing in Wellington in 1942. Old St. Paul's is a cathedral Marines commonly attended while stationed here in World War II. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Isis M. Ramirez)


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WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band held a concert at Old St. Paul’s here Sept. 16 as part of a recently-begun yearlong celebration of the 70th anniversary of U.S. Marines landing in Wellington in June 1942. Old St. Paul’s, an Anglican cathedral, holds historical value to Wellington and to the Marine Corps. Today, the cathedral is open as a historic building for hosting weddings, concerts and funerals.

Upon entering Old St. Paul’s, visitors will immediately see the 48-star U.S. flag displayed alongside the 2nd Marine Division colors.

The display is a symbol of the friendship between New Zealand and the U.S. Marines based on mutual needs during World War II, a time when New Zealand was vulnerable to Japanese attack and the U.S. needed a strategic stopping place for its military during the war.

The MARFORPAC Band has traveled through several cities in New Zealand to commemorate what New Zealanders call the friendly American Invasion of 1942. “All of us are so honored to be able to represent the Marine Corps as a whole through music and getting to play the “Marines’ Hymn” in different countries,” said Cpl. Nathan P. Davenport, a percussionist for the MARFORPAC Band.

Because of its historical value to U.S. Marines, Old St. Paul’s was one stop the MARFORPAC Band had to make before leaving New Zealand, said David Huebner, the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand. He called the church a refuge to the many Marines who once attended the cathedral to worship.

Today, Old St. Paul’s continues to show its love and appreciation to the Marine Corps by holding a Memorial Day service every year to commemorate the time Americans landed to defend New Zealand.

“Here, at St Paul’s, we have never forgotten those sons that were once our own,” said a historical video on permanent display at Old St. Paul’s.

The residents of Wellington have not forgotten the Marines either. The cathedral filled with many local residents who know the history of the American Invasion very well. Many enjoyed talking to the Marines about the history and the mood of the era when the Marines were in town.

“Hopefully in June, we’ll be here to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Marine landing in New Zealand,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael J. Smith, the officer-in-charge of the band.

“It’s a huge privilege to be able to represent the Marine Corps, America and the military to these people who are so genuine and fun to be around,” said Davenport. “It’s an honor … to get to keep their memory alive to the people who live here, so they don’t forget about the Marines or 200,000 (service members) who were here during World War II.”