"Palmerston North town crier Caroline Robinson has this morning been in Cuba Mall using her considerable vocal power to urge Wellington, very loudly: ''The capital city of New Zealand needs its own town crier.'' But it is not just Wellington that needs one. Town criers in Kapiti and Petone, she says, would not go amiss.
Asked why Wellington would need a town crier she replied simply.
Lovely to see a couple of articles in the Palmerston North newspapers this week reporting and commenting on Caroline's forthcoming trip to Kingston, Ontario, Canada where she will represents the City at the International Town Criers' Championships on 1-5 August. You can read this Press Here:
10 July - The Tribune Town crier off to world champs BELLE OF THE BELL: Palmerston North's town crier, Caroline Robinson is about to represent the city on an international stage when she competes at the World Invitational Town Crier Championship in Kingston, Ontario.
Palmerston North Town Crier, Caroline Robinson has packed her PJ’s, toothbrush, bell, robes, scroll and throat lozenges and is ready to take on all comers competing in the Invitational International Town Crier Tournament, being held in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, early next month.
“I have had to do a considerable amount of research about Kingston, its history and personalities, to compose the cries for the competition,” says Caroline.
She has had to compose 3 cries. The 1st is a home town cry for Palmerston North; the 2nd an historical cry about Sir John A. Macdonald the first Prime Minister of Canada; and the 3rd one is about “Why Kingston is not the Capital City of Canada?” All must be no shorter than 120 words and no longer than 125 words!
Caroline is really excited about this trip and says, “Kingston encapsulates everything I hold dear that we have in New Zealand, but it’s all in one place.... From the large markets found in Auckland, the limestone architecture of Oamaru, the boating and fishing of any of our lakes and surrounding seas and of course the live theatre we are so blessed to have right here in Palmy - Kingston has it all - only bigger!”
Caroline will keep us all updated until she leaves on the 24th of July. She has her eye on bringing home the Media Prize so if you want to help her achieve this you can make a comment below and leave a message of good wishes for the Town Crier Tournament, ensuring you mention Kingston Ontario Canada.
Next time she will tell us of the way these competitions are judged. Now that’s an eye opener!
The International Pacific College (referred to as I.P.C.) was established in 1990 in Palmerston North, near Massey University. It was the first private, residential tertiary college, accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority to grant bachelors & masters degrees in international studies.
Founder, Mr Hiroshi Ohashi from Hyogo, Japan was made an honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to education in the 2007 New Year Honours List. The investiture took place at the opening ceremony of the International Pacific University in Okayama, Japan, on 1 April 2007 and he received the award from former Governor General, Dame Catherine Tizard.
Caroline Robinson, PN Town Crier, was very blessed to have been part of this, having accepted an invitation from Mr Ohashi to lead in the Official Party and perform a Cry at the Opening Ceremony in Okayama.
The International Pacific College holds a Commencement Ceremony every May and this year 102 new students were welcomed to the College. The Town Crier was in attendance.
Each year Massey University celebrates the achievements of its graduates. There is a week long celebration in May, and a one day ceremony in November.
Each Graduation Ceremony culminates in a parade. Behind the Town Crier, led by the Drum Major, followed by members of The Pipes and Drums of Palmerston North and Districts Pipe Band, come the flag bearers - guiding the Massey Ram mascot. Then, falling in behind the academic staff from Massey University, comes a throng of exuberant, balloon festooned graduates - all wending our way from the Regent Theatre to a huge marquee, especially erected, in the Square. Parents, whanau and friends all gather to cheer them on.
It truly is a wonderful occasion.
Lisa Purda HOD Art at SPC - a Massey graduate - with the Town Crier
On the 19th of April the city’s Official Citizenship Ceremony was held at the Convention Centre.
82 candidates from 18 different ethnicities were sworn in and now proudly call themselves New Zealanders.
I have to say this is one of the highlights of my job as Town Crier. I am charged with announcing the names of all the candidates.
It is a formal affair, presided over by the Mayor with the CEO, members of the Tangata Whenua (Maori – people of the land) and the Multi Cultural Council, local Members of Parliament, the Police and Fire Chiefs, City Councillors, Justices of the Peace and an Electoral Role Officer attending as part of the Official Party.
A Citizenship Ceremony is held every second month. Many of the candidates attend in their National Costumes, which adds a colourful, ethnic flavour to the ceremony.
In 2012 Town Crier Caroline was approached by the Managing Director of The Palmerston North School of Design and asked if she would consider having a new regalia made. Caroline had lost a considerable amount of weight and certainly needed to look at having a new uniform.
Kat Robinson (no relation) a senior student was given the brief to research Towns Criers and what they wore. She was to design and make a uniform. She had to source appropriate fabrics, buttons and trims. The uniform needed to be suitable for Caroline to wear at a wide variety of functions both formal and informal. It also needed to represent the city.
The task took a year and the result was excellent as you can see by the photographs in the slide show.