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ANZAC - The New Zealand Story opens at Te Papa

ANZAC - The New Zealand Story opens at Te Papa

ANZAC: The New Zealand Story, an exhibition which explores the military relationship between New Zealand and Australia, will be opened by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, at Te Papa tomorrow.

Developed by the New Zealand Defence Force, the exhibition tells the powerful stories of the two countries' shared military endeavours through artefacts, photographs, art and film. It ranges from our first military contacts during the nineteenth century New Zealand Wars, when Australians enlisted with the New Zealand Militia, through to today's co-operative peacekeeping efforts in Bougainville and East Timor.

The exhibition features the beginnings of the ANZAC tradition and the feat of the Wellington Infantry Battalion under the command of Lt Col William Malone in taking Chunuk Bair on August 8, 1915.

Moving stories of personal friendship are also told, including that of Private Clarrie Nicholl from Wellington. Private Nicholl had escaped from a German POW camp on the island of Crete with Australian Private Bill Gilbey in June of 1941. Nicholl collapsed in intense pain and Gilbey carried him nearly 13 km to a German-controlled village. Gilbey held vigil at Nicholl's bedside. As he lay dying, Nicholl gave his friend a photograph of his girlfriend, and asked him to return it to her. Gilbey remained a prisoner of war, but soon after liberation he made the pilgrimage to Wellington to return the photograph. It was his mate's last wish. The opening event will be attended by Merv Nicholl, a descendant of Private Nicholl.

The opening ceremony will take place at 3.15pm for 3.30pm on Wednesday 18 June, Level 3, Te Papa. Soldiers from the peacekeeping force in East Timor will be in attendance. The opening also features well-known poet Alistair Campbell who will read a selection of his moving war poems including 'Doc Campbell', 'Stretcher Bearer' and 'Gallipoli'.

EVENTS Saturday 28 June, 2pm-4pm The Price of Citizenship - an emotive and personal multimedia presentation viewing World War II through the eyes of the C Company of the 28th Maori Battalion. Soundings Theatre, Level 2. Free entry.

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