TAKEN BY SURPRISE VISIT TO HOSPITALS Auckland was taken completely by surprise by reports that Japan was ready to make peace, and there were few signs of rejoicing or celebration in the streets this morning. The city had its usual quiet Saturday morning appearance, with only the average number of people about and a limited number of shops open. There was not the quick outburst of revelry and gaiety evident on the collapse of Germany three months ago, and it appeared that the public was waiting for* an official announcement. / In many homes there was a feeling of great relief in the knowledge that many New Zealand servicemen, particularly those in the Air Force and the Navy, should soon ■be released from active service. There were also many, till now in doubt as to the future duties of men of the Second Division, who shared in the same sense of relief. The thought remained, however, that not all New Zealand soldiers "would be able to return to the Dominion immediately, as New Zealand might have to share in the occupation and policing of what has been . Japanese-held territory. Some Early Phone Calls Some Aucklanders were awakened in the small hours of the morning by the ringing of telephones in their homes, but the majority did not know , of the sensational developments till the radio broadcasts at breakfast time. It was an ideal morning, with warm August sunshine, and the day began with perfect calm. Certainly the conditions were ideal for the development of a carnival spirit had the people felt so inclined. Doing his best to enliven the scene, the driver of a jeep, with a V sign painted conspicuously across the front, drove around city streets, but it was a solo effort. This afternoon, however, there was more evidence of merrymaking, although it was obvious that the majority of people were not regarding to-day as Total V Day. During the morning a visit was made to the Military Annexe in the Auckland Domain and the Evelyn Firth Home by •■ Sir Ernest Davis, chairman of the Joint Council of the Red Cross and the Order of St. John, Mr. A. P. Postlewaite, president of the Auckland R.S.A., and Mr. K. C. Aekins, an executive member of the R.S.A., who went round the wards, meeting the men individually and thanking them for their part in the war. Though the majority of the men had served in the Middle East, there were a few who had been in operation against the Japanese. All united in rejoicing that nearly six years of war were virtually at an end. A gift was made to each of the men. Sirens awoke the camp at Whenuapai at one o'clock this morning and the remainder of the night was spent in the canteen. At breakfast time the majority of the staff were told that they could have the , week-end off.
ASTIR BEFORE DAYBREAK O.C. WHANGAREI, this day. Whangarei caught the spirit of near-victory before dawn, when people were roused; from sleep by the vigorous ringing of church bells and the whistling of engines in the railway yards. Others heard 3 train steaming backwards and forwards, sounding "cock-a-doodle-do" whistles. Men and women, youths and girls rode bicycles through the town before daylight, and lights were on in most houses. The cheering, shouting and jubilation were much more noticeable than when the first news of VE day was received.
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AUCKLAND QUIET, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945
AUCKLAND QUIET Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 189, 11 August 1945
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