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Auckland Council/Museum Announce 2014 WWI Centenary Plans

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 25th April, 2014

AUCKLAND COUNCIL AND AUCKLAND WAR MEMORIAL MUSEUM ANNOUNCE FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY PLANS FOR 2014

Today at Anzac Day commemorations Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Auckland War Memorial Museum Director Roy Clare announced their upcoming programmes, exhibitions and events for the First World War centenary period in 2014.

Over the next several years Auckland Council will be working alongside the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as well as other regional and community organisations, to mark each year of WWI which ran from 1914 to 1918.

Both the council and Museum will offer diverse and original programmes to commemorate the centenary of WWI. Sharing the banner of ‘He toa taumata rau: Courage has many resting places’, the programmes will take a different thematic focus each year. The theme for the 2014 programme is ‘Duty and Adventure’.

Auckland Council has set up a WW100 Steering Committee, chaired by former councillor Sandra Coney, to foster and support the activities of Local Boards and their communities and stakeholders, to assist with coordination within the region and provide a place to discuss national and regional activities for the commemoration.

The council will deliver two key initiatives, the first being a heritage walking trail of Auckland’s First World War sites of significance, guiding people via a smartphone application through sites such as enlisting stations on Queen Street, military training camps at Avondale Racecourse and the internment camps for German and Austrian nationals on Motuihe Island.

The second is the Auckland Libraries programme which includes the ‘Our Boys, Our Families’ resource allowing people to research the stories of those who served and those who stayed behind during the war years, and the ‘It’ll be over by Christmas’ exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from the Sir George Grey Special Collection which opens in July 2014.

The council is also undertaking a project of upgrading and restoring many cenotaphs and memorials around the region, and opportunities to hold WW1-themed Movies in Parks and Music in Parks events are being explored.

Mayor Brown says the centenary marks a period in history that had a seismic impact on Auckland and New Zealand as a whole, acknowledging that one in ten Kiwis served overseas equalling 100,000 people; 18,000 died and over 40,000 were wounded.

“The WW100 commemorations give us all the opportunity to pause and reflect on the conflict that bound us together as a nation, which affected almost every family and every settlement in New Zealand,” he says. “We will not forget our countrymen and women who fought for the freedom and peace we enjoy today, who nursed or served as drivers or volunteer aides, nor the impact the war had on our communities back home. It is also important we recognise that many of our ‘new’ Aucklanders’ families may have experienced the war in different but equally significant ways.”

Building toward the official launch in August the Museum will begin by hosting a series of talks throughout May and June. ‘The Great War: A Global History, 1914 – 1918’ will offer insights into WWI and connect with the Museum’s collections, commemorative features and galleries. Then opening on the 19th June is, ‘Entangled Islands: Samoa, New Zealand and the First World War’, the first in a series of exhibitions about the New Zealand war experience. Using the many perspectives and experiences of those involved the exhibition will tell the lesser-known story of New Zealand’s first action in WWI, the occupation of German Samoa.

The Museum will begin the official centenary period in August by hosting a series of commemorative services and weekends, these will include: ‘War Begins - A Commemorative Service’ on the 5th August, ‘Enlist Now - Centenary Launch Weekend’ on the 9th and 10th August, ‘New Zealand Goes To War - A Commemorative Service’ on Friday 29th August and ‘WWI Samoa - Voices From The Pacific’ on the 30th and 31st August.

Later in the year the Museum will launch the redeveloped and enhanced version of its Cenotaph database. The Cenotaph database is an online memorial to deceased New Zealanders who served their country during conflict. Boosted by a $300,000 grant from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage as part of WW100, Online Cenotaph will be a vital online social space where enthusiasts, family and researchers alike, can share their information and experiences of New Zealand servicemen and women.

The Museum will also take its commemorations ‘to the people’ thanks to significant funding from the Lottery Grants Board. The $3.8million funding will enable the Museum to redevelop two commemorative gallery spaces and undertake a community outreach programme. The outreach programme will encourage families to share their recollections, records and experiences of war. These memories will be captured in the Museum’s Online Cenotaph database and form part of a lasting legacy for future generations.

The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of Auckland Council in relation to a special grant for WWI joint programming of $150,000.

Throughout the centenary period historian and author Dr Monty Soutar (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa) will act as the Museum’s WWI spokesperson with the official title of ‘WWI Historian in Residence’. For the past few years Dr Soutar has been the co-ordinator of the 28th Māori Battalion website. He is also an ex-serviceman. Dr Soutar’s engagement with the Museum is in co-operation with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

In this first centennial year of WW1, Director Roy Clare says: “we commemorate those who gave their lives in the Great War that we may live in freedom”. Through a diverse programme, the Museum will offer the people of Auckland a variety of ways in which to honour the sacrifices of men and women who have served New Zealand before and since that time. The Museum is a space for solemn reflection and for acts of civic commemoration and a place for sharing information and exchanging knowledge. Roy Clare adds: “true to the ode from Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’, we will remember them”.

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

• WW100 is 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 are available at www.WW100.govt.nz

• 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’.


See Full Programme PDF:

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1404/ Auckland_War_Memorial_Museum__WWI_Centenary_Programme_2014.pdf

WWI CENTENARY PROGRAMME 2014

Auckland Council has committed to delivering an Auckland-based response to the national WW100 programme led by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The council is supporting and working closely with the Ministry and has also entered into a partnership with Auckland War Memorial Museum. Our respective programmes will follow the overarching theme “He Toa Taumata Rau” or “Courage Has Many Resting Places”.

Through a diverse and creative range of commemorative initiatives the council will reaffirm the principals of freedom, human rights and peace and raise awareness and a better understanding of the New Zealanders who made significant sacrifices during this pivotal period in the nation’s history. The council will launch key initiatives in August 2014.


AUCKLAND HERITAGE TRAIL

AUGUST 2014 - ONGOING

The WW1 Heritage Trail will inform Aucklanders and visitors about the Great War’s significant impact on our collective heritage by guiding people through WW1 sites of significance across the region. Over 70 sites have been identified as having special relevance to Auckland’s involvement in the war.

The trail will be identified and explained through interpretive signage that will detail the story of the place, supported by historic photographs, maps and other imagery. A smartphone app will offer an easy and interactive way to plan and navigate your journey which will take you from sites of military training camps at Avondale Racecourse to the Auckland Town Hall, to the location of an internment cap on Motuihe Island, among others.

CENOTAPH AND MEMORIAL UPGRADES

Auckland Council Parks and Recreation department have committed $650,000 from their existing budget to fund the Heritage Trail and upgrades to cenotaphs and war memorials most in need of maintenance across the Auckland region. The Auckland Domain Cenotaph in front of the Auckland War Memorial Museum is a site of national significance and works have been completed ahead of Anzac Day 2014 to the paving of the Court of Honour. Most recently the Matakana World War 1 memorial statue of King George V has been restored with the addition of a new head for the statue. Council has taken additional measures during this restoration to ensure that the new head is reinforced and remains secure. A ceremony took place on Wednesday 23 April 2014 which included a blessing by kaumatua from Ngati Manuhiri. The ceremony was attended by Chair of the Rodney Local Board Brenda Steele, Rodney Ward Councillor Penny Webster, NZ First MP and Deputy Leader Tracey Martin, representatives of the Warkworth RSA and members of the public.

AUCKLAND LIBRARIES EXHIBITION; ‘IT’LL BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS’

JULY – OCTOBER 2014

This exhibition from the Sir George Grey Special Collections will shine a light on New Zealand’s contribution to the 1914-1918 war, both at the front and at home, through a selection of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and other items. Among the items on show will be a programme of the first ANZAC service in 1916, and rare campaign maps of the Gallipoli peninsula.

The exhibition will be housed in the Sir George Grey Special Collection room on level two of the Central City Library for the duration; however an online version of the exhibition will be available on the Auckland Libraries website.

AUCKLAND LIBRARIES; ‘OUR BOYS, OUR FAMILIES’

SEPTEMBER 2013 –ONGOING

Developed by Auckland Libraries with input from the Auckland Council Heritage Unit and Auckland Council Archives, this illustrated guide will help you to carry out your own research into family members or others who took part in the First World War, whether they were a soldier on the front line, a nurse on a hospital ship or the people and families who were impacted back home. The guide is currently being reprinted and is also available on the Auckland Library website to help with navigating the wealth of council archives, manuscript and oral history records and photographic collections, and the growing collection of new resources online. An Our Boys, Our Families website resource is also planned.

As the council undertakes the research process we are committed to honoring those who made sacrifices for our country by expanding our collective knowledge of these people, adding to our collective memory and by putting a human face to the experiences and tragedies of the Great War. Email OurBoysGuide@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for more information or to request a print of the many photographs included in the Our Boys, Our Families guide.

MORE THAN A WAR – REMEMBERING 1914 - 1918

2014 – ONGOING

This is a collaborative project between Auckland Libraries and Unitec’s Communications Studies department. The project aims to bring to life personal narratives of the years 1914-1918 and set them alongside contemporary responses to the commemoration of WW1. Stories of life on the home front are of particular interest.

Students are participating using narrative based collections (oral histories, letters, and manuscripts) which will be showcased as digital productions. These will be featured on the Auckland Libraries website during the commemoration period and will become a permanent resource for research.

The project actively encourages the community to participate by sharing family stories and memorabilia of this time. People interested in participating are invited to contact Auckland Council Oral Historian Sue Berman at Auckland Libraries, Sue.Berman@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

DIGITISATION OF RSA ‘QUICK MARCH’ MAGAZINE FROM 1918 – 1923

‘Quick March’ was the official monthly publication of the New Zealand Returned Soldiers' Association (RSA) between 1918 and 1923. The RSA has generously permitted Auckland Libraries to digitise this important publication, and make it available online.

Quick March contains important information about the lives of New Zealanders who served in the First World War and contents include political articles, advice on resettlement issues, short stories and jokes, war stories and reminiscences, cartoons and advertising aimed at returned servicemen.

HERITAGE FESTIVAL

27 SEPTEMBER – 12 OCTOBER 2014

Facilitated by Auckland Council every year, the Heritage Festival is an opportunity for everyone, locals and visitors alike, to celebrate and remember our past and discover our heritage. The themes for the 2014 festival will be the First World War, Celebrating our Heritage and Learning and Encouragement.

The Auckland Heritage Festival reminds us that we are collectively the best kaitiaki (guardians) and advocates of our own history. It is up to us to protect and conserve our heritage for future generations and help make Auckland the world’s most livable city.

Auckland Council is proud to bring the Auckland Heritage Festival to our communities and play a part in protecting Auckland’s heritage.

ENDS

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