We raced from Westfield Glenfield, hoping to get to Parnell in time before all the roads were closed off. After about 12 or so minutes, we managed to get into the side streets, find Dad’s supplier and park under their building.
We then walked up to the main street where they were just about to close the street. There were heaps of people walking up the road towards the church/domain.
Hours before, I watched on Breakfast as Sir Edmund’s casket was removed from the Cathedral by soldiers and taken slowly into St Mary’s Church.
St Mary’s is part of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Barriers had been placed in the middle and the sides of the roads, and there was alot of security. A huge crane hovered over the Holy Trinity, with a man and a camera at the very top. We kept walking down the road and had to squeeze though a crowd that had gathered across the road from the church, and they were watching people arrive.
Eventually we arrived at the domain. We fund a place to sit and did so. It was a good spot because right behind us was a road (which is in front of the museum) and that was where Sir Edmund’s casket would be driven as it makes it’s way to the crematorium.
I quickly realized we had no sunscreen, no hats or anything. But I didn’t get too bothered and soon forgot about it. During the funeral (which was shown on a big screen), Auckland City Council Events volunteers handed out free bottles of organic spring water, the same stuff that was handed out during Sir Ed’s lying in state.
I noticed that profits from the bottles go to the Sir Peter Blake trust.
During the ceremony, the clouds leaked tiny drops of rain but it wasn’t drizzle. It was just a few splashes and then it was gone again. Then it came back, and went again.
At this point, I was thinking about how fitting it is for it to rain on the day of a funeral.
Some would say that the rain is God crying; I don’t think so. I would like to believe that rain on a remembrance day are “tears of overwhelm-ment” – the deceased person’s spirit gets overwhelmed at the services held in their honour, and how much people miss that person. It is the spirit mourning with you.
At 12.45, the heavens opened and it poured down upon the domain. Most people (including us) rushed to the trees, while others rushed and had shelter under the museum. We soon realized that the trees were not providing much cover and decided to race to the museum. Before we did though, I managed to get a booklet that was all about the funeral, given to guests. I carefully stuffed it under my singlet, which was under my shirt. I felt that two layers of clothing should protect it; I didn’t want it damaged any more!
Dad and I ran up to the outside wall of the museum. We were drenched. But that was okay somehow. Dad managed to snap some photos quickly and I clutched the water bottles before putting them on a groove in the museum wall. I don’t know what else to call it, but it was like a step and you could pull yourself up and sit on it.
I don’t know how long we were standing there for, but the rain eventually cleared. We walked back down and grabbed a spot by the roadside. If anyone tried to stand in front, they would be on the road and cleared away. So we could see the road and the big screen.
It started to rain again and Dad got shelter from a lady next to him.
The rain cleared moments later and helicopters and cameras swooped around the crowd.
Cars, buses and two hearses traveled though the domain escorted by police, and in one of the hearses was Sir Ed’s casket.
People appuaded as it passed and as soon as it was out of sight, people drained out of the domain, and in a few minutes it was empty.