The 2016 AGM will be held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Auditorium at 5.00pm on Thursday 31st March. Please enter via the Atrium (South) entrance (not the Grand Foyer by the Cenotaph) and the staff will direct you to the lifts and the appropriate floor. Formal notice will be sent out nearer the time.
Members who wish to nominate another member for a Board position in the 2016-2017 year are reminded that written nominations, accompanied by the written consent of the nominee and a brief ‘CV’, must be received by the Secretary not less than fifteen (15) clear days before the date of the Annual General meeting, ie by 15th March 2016.
Also, you will be receiving your Subscription invoice shortly for your annual subscription renewal.
The fee remains at $20 per person. It would be very helpful to our Treasurer, Mike Hartley, if you could please pay this promptly. If you wish to take the opportunity to take up Paid Life Membership then the once-off subscription is currently $250 per person. Subscriptions can either be paid by cheque, by post or by Bank Transfer, or at the AGM (but preferably beforehand).
Please remember to advise our Secretary (see below), of any changes in your personal data so that you continue to receive all our communications.
Poppies Hot-Air Balloon
One of our members, Dianne McKee and her family, operate a hot-air balloon with poppy motifs, which is flown at many occasions and venues, primarily in memory of one of their own relatives who fought at Passchendaele. They will be flying the balloon at the Wairarapa Balloon Festival on 25th to 29th February 2016 and would be delighted if any members care to visit the Festival and witness the balloon in flight in all its glory. See the event schedule at: http://www.nzballoons.co.nz/#!/programme-2/
Progress with the funding from the Lotteries Board grant for the New Zealand Memorial & Garden at the Passchendaele Memorial Park is reaching its final stages. The completion in August 2016 is still on schedule, however the official opening date has not yet been determined. You can read more about this project here http://passchendaelesociety.org/news/page/2/
WW100 website www.ww100.govt.nz is an excellent resource for staying abreast of developments and WW1 projects, particularly for those in the smaller regions and communities, as well as Legacy Projects of National significance.
A short play by Jan Bolwell called Bill Massey’s Tourists will be presented at the Waikato Museum from March 9 to 11 (starts 7.30pm with door sales only – $25 or $20 for concession card holders). Jan is the granddaughter and tells her grandfather’s story and the play has been described as a ‘tale well told’ and a ‘terrific script’. I had the privilege of seeing this play last year in Auckland and thoroughly enjoyed it! Visit www.janbolwell.com for further information.
The Iron Poppies for Ieper project has a New Zealand contributor by the name of James Abbott. The 100 poppies he is making at his forge in Christchurch, along with other contributors from around the world, will be a part of a very large Cenotaph which will stand 7m tall and 2m wide. Initially it will be erected in front of the Flanders Fields Museum in Grote Markt Square, Ypres, and then moved to a permanent position adjacent to the German War Cemetery at Langemark, Poelkapelle. It will commemorate the sacrifices made on all sides during the WW1 conflict in Flanders. If you go to www.ypres2016.com you will find very comprehensive information about this.
The joint venture in 2015 with the Ministry of Education and the Fields of Remembrance Trust saw 80,000 white crosses supplied to 2,531 primary and secondary schools. Each school received a pack of 30 crosses, name labels, poppy and fern stickers, posters, booklets and instructions for setting up a field and holding a commemoration ceremony. Fields of Remembrance were then set up for ANZAC Day 2015 in schools throughout the country. Since then the Ministry of Education have advised the Fields of Remembrance Trust they would welcome suggestions for further activities during the commemoration period. There is a lack of knowledge in New Zealand of the post-Gallipoli period in the First World War and it was for this reason that The Passchendaele Society was established to “increase community awareness and recognition of the events at Passchendaele and the Western Front”. The Passchendaele Society were the settlors in establishing the Fields of Remembrance Trust and have prepared draft posters and brochures on the Western Front which could become the response to the Ministry’s request for further activities particularly during 2016 and 2017.
The FoRT’s website www.fieldsofremembrance.org.nz is a great source of community information.
News from Passchendaele
We are often asked about upcoming commemoration events planned in Belgium. This website is an excellent source to stay abreast of any developments in Zonnebeke/Passchendaele http://passchendaele2017.org/
Also the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 has a new website http://www.passchendaele.be/en If you are in Belgium you can ask for the Museum’s printed version of their ‘New Zealand Remembrance Trail’ (free), or you can ask our Passchendaele Society Secretary to send you one in an electronic form if you have not already received one.
News from Auckland
Following lobbying by The Passchendaele Society and The Fields of Remembrance Trust to the Auckland Council’s World War One Centenary Memorial Working Party, the Council announced a budget of $3 million had been established to create a World War One Memorial in the Auckland Domain. A briefing was provided to international-standard design consortia and a shortlist of designs presented to the public on 8th January 2016. Notice was given that public response was invited before 24th January 2016 and that there will be an opportunity to change the design before the Council makes a final decision.