Auckland Anniversary Day is a public holiday observed in the northern half of the North Island of New Zealand. It is observed throughout the historic Auckland Province (not just the present-day Auckland Region) even though the provinces of New Zealand were abolished in 1876. The holiday usually falls on the Monday closest to 29 January, the anniversary of the arrival of William Hobson, later the first Governor of New Zealand, in the Bay of Islands in 1840.
Auckland Anniversary Day was established by Governor Hobson's direction, over Willoughby Shortland's signature, in 1842. The New Zealand Government Gazette of 26 January, 1842 (Volume 2, 4th Edition) carried a notice stating
"Saturday, the 29th instant, being the SECOND ANNIVERSARY of the establishment of the Colony, His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to direct that day to be held a GENERAL HOLIDAY, on which occasion the Public Offices will be closed."
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“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more”
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