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Auckland’s WW100 Commemorations

Media release
Anzac Day
25 April 2013

Auckland’s WW100 Commemorations

Auckland’s First World War centenary commemorations will acknowledge, honour and remember the many faces of courage – from those who served to those who stayed behind.

Mayor Len Brown and Auckland War Memorial Museum Director Roy Clare this morning announced the themes forming the basis of Auckland’s contribution to the WW100 commemoration events and programmes that will run from August 2014 to 2018.

“Auckland War Memorial Museum’s programme of exhibitions and events is at the heart of First World War commemorations.

“Auckland Council will champion remembrance activities in the region’s local communities – working with our local boards, iwi and leading a number of regional initiatives.

“The Great War touched the lives of so many people – those at home as well as those in combat. As a multicultural city, we will also be acknowledging the many Aucklanders from the Pacific Islands, Europe and across the globe who served or have loved ones connected to the First World War,” says Len Brown.

Auckland Council is developing a trail of Auckland’s heritage sites and upgrading and restoring cenotaphs, memorials and war graves around the region. It has established a political steering group, chaired by Councillor Sandra Coney, which provides leadership and direction for council-led initiatives.

Auckland War Memorial Museum’s WWI centenary programme is centred on the overarching theme ‘He toa taumata rau’ or ‘Courage has many resting places’ and spans online projects, annual programmes, commemorative events and the upgrade of the online Cenotaph Database.
Director Roy Clare says the museum’s programme has already begun with its online HMS New Zealand project, a partnership with Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, which allows visitors to the site to learn about the vessel purchased by New Zealand for the ‘motherland’ and to follow the journey the battlecruiser made around the country 100 years ago this month.

“Each year of the centenary also has its own theme including ‘Duty & Adventure’ in 2014 and ‘Death of Innocence’ in 2015 coinciding with the commemorations for Gallipoli 100.”
“The museum’s programme offers Aucklanders and New Zealanders many opportunities to connect with their own history and, through those connections, to better understand the courage and the sacrifices of World War One,” says Mr Clare.

The museum’s Cenotaph Database already allows New Zealanders to search for the basic service details of First World War servicemen – and servicemen from other conflicts that New Zealand has played a role in.

“Now, as part of a national partnership programme, the museum is investing $400,000 on top of $300,000 from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, to allow for development of the database to allow for the introduction of more images, personal papers and fuller military records.”

Focuses for the annual programmes include the annexation of Samoa, non-combatants at war looking at the experience of women and children on home front and one using the lens of medical photography to look at the cost of war.

“We want to enable people to participate in developing stories that may not be that well known and that give this commemoration period real meaning for them,” says Mr Clare.

Auckland Libraries is planning a series of exhibitions and projects to highlight the First World War-related items it has in its collections. These include copies of the RSA Magazine ‘Quick March’, troop ship magazines, newspapers, photographs and ephemera from the time. Examples of these will be available online to help researchers.

Auckland War Memorial Museum will also act as the region’s hub for the Fields of Remembrance project during the centenary period. White crosses of remembrance will be placed at sites throughout New Zealand to commemorate our fallen soldiers before being brought together in 2018 in Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

Background information
• Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum’s online HMS New Zealand project can be found at www.hmsnewzealand.com. The Cenotaph Database is available through the museum website http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/130/cenotaph-database

• Auckland Council will co-ordinate activities around the region – ensuring a cohesive approach with the national WW100 programme as well as events in local communities and other council departments and organisations like parks, events, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Transport and Waterfront Auckland. More information can be found on the Auckland Council website www.auckandcouncil.govt.nz, search ‘WW100’

• The Cenotaph Database redevelopment is an official project of WW100, the national programme to mark the centenary of the World War One. The WW100 programme office coordinates New Zealand's official and community-led programme of commemoration. Details of activities, projects and resources to help those wanting to be involved in the programme are available at www.WW100.govt.nz


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