Military Unit receives high honour

The 21st Supply Company of the New Zealand Army has been granted “the rights, the privilege and the honour of marching through the streets of Foxton on ceremonial occasions with bayonets fixed, swords drawn, drums beating and colours flying”. The ancient Freedom Charter – an official gesture of trust – was conferred by the Horowhenua District Council at a parade in Foxton on the 11th December 2010, in recognition of the long association between the town and the Company of the 2nd Logistic Battalion, Linton.

The Parade, which involved 150 Officers and men plus the band of the 7th Wellington (City of Wellingtons Own and Hawkes Bay Battalion), was inspected outside the Foxton Memorial Hall by his Worship the Mayor of Horowhenua Brendan Duthie. The awarding of the freedom of the borough to 21 Supply Company was a significant milestone in the relationship between 21 Supply Company, Foxton Returned & Service Association and the borough of Foxton. This relationship extends back almost 30 years.

At the time of the major flooding in 2004, 21 Supply Company gave valuable service to the Foxton Township, helping to transport people out of the flood zone and sand bagging at Foxton Beach. When the Foxton RSA burnt o the ground in November 2006, 21 Supply were among the first group who offered assistance. Individual service people came over to Foxton, to help in their own time, for a number of weeks after the disaster.

In recognition of the granting of the freedom, Foxton RSA has placed a plaque on anoutside wall of the RSA, commemorating the event. The plaque was unveiled by the Patron of the Foxton RSA Mr. Bill Hoskins and the youngest soldier of 21 Supply Company, Pte Westerman.

Freedom Charters date back to ancient Rome, when it was a capital offence for Roman Legions to enter a city in formation or with weapons without permission. In old English Tradition, the entering military group is challenged by the Chief Constable of the borough. Foxton Police Sergeant John May safeguarded the town of Foxton on this occasion.