Our People

Board Members:

Bob Davis (President and Honorary Secretary)

Bob Davis was Chairman of the Establishment Committee of the Society from 2009, and has been Hon Secretary since 2011.   He is also International President of The International Military Music Society and it was through his interest in military bands that he first came into contact with the Passchendaele story in 2007.   Bob emigrated from the UK in 2002, and became an NZ Citizen in 2008.  His particular forte is as an organiser and MC/compere of commemorations, ceremonials, concerts and parades, also as a tour manager and speaker.  He has travelled extensively, visiting over 60 countries worldwide, including Passchendaele and the Flanders region twice, in 2010 and 2012, and hopes to return there in 2019 to visit the new NZ Memorial & Garden.  He shares the determination that the men who died in 1917, those who survived and their families shall never be forgotten.

Iain MacKenzie (Past President – RIP)

Iain MacKenzie was born and educated in Scotland. After graduate and post graduate degrees in economics, commerce and management from the Universities of Strathclyde and London he was invited to participate in a University of Manchester research project measuring management efficiency in large scale organisations and this led to a career in the electronic industry with Philips in the Netherlands.  In 1977 he came to New Zealand  where he has held senior management and Chief Executive positions. He was General Manager of Philips and Pye Consumer Products and then subsequently Chief Executive of Sanyo New Zealand. After the electronics industry in New Zealand was deregulated he purchased the executive recruitment company Farrow Jamieson and was Managing Director of this company until he retired.

He was Honorary Consul for Belgium from 2000 until 2009 and in that year was responsible for organising the visit of the travelling exhibition “Passchendaele: The Belgians Have Not Forgotten” to Auckland. The commemoration activities built around the exhibition created a great deal of public recognition about Passchendaele and “The Forgotten War” on the Western Front during the First World War and Iain was subsequently elected President of the Passchendaele Society on its formation in March 2011. In 2012 he was made a Knight in the Order of the Crown of the Kingdom of Belgium.

He is also President of the Rotary Club of Newmarket and a Trustee of the Motutapu Restoration Trust and the Fields of  Remembrance Trust.

Iain passed away in January 2022 after a short illness.  He is missed dearly by the Passchendaele Society Community as one of our original founders.


Mike Hartley (Honorary Treasurer)

Owner of Small Business Accounting, Newmarket, Auckland.   Full member of the Accountants and Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand.   Master of Business Administration (Auckland), Graduate Diploma of Business Administration (Auckland).  Previously General Manager and Part Owner of Crediflex NZ Ltd.   24 years involved with commercial finance – senior management roles in sales and credit management.




 Karen Morris (Director of Commemorations)

I have grown up in Auckland and always had a interest in history and family trees.  As a young child I met an old uncle (grandfathers brother) who talked about his twin brothers going to WWI, one of them (Thomas Morris) was killed at the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4/10/17.  This always stayed with me, probably because 4th October was my birthday. While in London around ANZAC Day 2013, we decided it would be more appropriate to go to Belgium. So along with my partner (Joe Shelford-Tuki) we did a four day trip to the Flanders battlefields, including visiting my uncle’s grave at Nine Elms British Cemetery in Poperinghe.

My partner and I have also travelled around Europe extensively, following the footsteps of our soldiers (mainly WWII) from Italy (Monte Cassino & Trieste) to Greece and Crete (Mount Olympus). Like all New Zealanders, I have many family members who have served.

I am the Secretary for the 28 Maori Battalion Association-Auckland and spend much time visiting and taking out our old soldiers and of course their wives and widows.  More and more it is widows nowadays.  We spend most of our free time visiting or arranging functions where they can meet up with old friends.  Joe and I helped arrange a reunion for the veterans and I researched and prepared 2 reunion books, one of the greatest privileges of our lives.  We have also helped with TV documentaries, one on Joe’s Grandfather and the other one with Sir Tony Robinson. In October 2017 we returned once more to Belgium and Passchendaele to not only remember my Uncle but all of those who sacrificed so much for future generations.


Dylan Woodhouse (Youth Ambassador, Board Member & Facebook Administrator)

I was first involved with the Passchendaele Society after winning a competition for New Zealand Secondary School students, funded by Student Horizons, the Passchendaele Society, Fields of Remembrance Trust and Ministry of Education. In a team of other like-minded individuals in the St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton, we created an educational resource that was designed to be interactive, informative and engaging to young students about the Battle of Passchendaele:  https://bloodandmud.org/

The prize was a trip to the Western Front and Passchendaele.  Standing where thousands of people had lived, fought and died 100 years ago was a poignant experience and I am very thankful to those that gave me the chance to be there. It was an incredible experience and I am determined not to make it a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ only! The remembrance of our fallen soldiers must continue past the centennials and into the future and I am committed to help be a part of that.

My Great Great Grandfather, Edward “Ted” Cartwright, fought during the battle of Passchendaele in the Northumberland Fusiliers. Some of the stories he told have been passed down through our family and remind us of our connection to the war. Much of my family fought in the wars, though not all in Flanders. We still have many of their medals and badges and they remain treasured heirlooms.

During my student life I have studied mainly literary based subjects with a profound fascination with the Great War. I find the human element of the conflict the most compelling, trying to see into the past and into the minds of the soldiers that were trapped in a cycle of unimaginable horror. Perhaps one of the most enduring reasons World War 1 is remembered to this day, is the thought given to imagining ourselves in their boots. To picture what they went through and to try to understand how, in the face of overwhelming carnage, they endured. I am very appreciative of the honour of becoming a Youth Ambassador in the Passchendaele Society and I look forward to lending a hand with the Society’s projects in the future.


Bill MacGregor (Board Member)

Bill MacGregor served for 28 years in the RNZAF as a pilot.  He filled a number of roles in NZ including commanding officer of No 3 Squadron.  He operated helicopters for the air force in Antarctica, various Pacific Islands and SE Asia.  He was the contingent commander of the RNZAF detachment in Iran in 1989 at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.  Bill represented NZ on the secretariat of an international aviation standardisation organisation in Washington DC.  His last position in the air force was commanding the Operations Wing at RNZAF Base Auckland.

Since leaving the air force he has filled a variety of positions within New Zealand and the Pacific Islands as an aviation regulator.  Currently he is the Director of Civil Aviation for Niue as well as working for Aviation NZ as the Executive Officer for both the NZ Helicopter Association and the Agricultural Aviation Association.

Bill’s interest in the Passchendaele Society came about through a journey to find out about his grandfather who was killed in mid-October 1917.  Bill and his wife Rose by chance visited Belgium in October 2017 at the time of the opening of the New Zealand Memorial and Garden at Zonnebeke.  His grandfather is buried in Nine Elms British Cemetery to the West of Poperinghe.  Lance Sergeant James Leslie MacGregor was posthumously awarded a Belgium Croix de Guerre in 1919.

Since returning to New Zealand Bill has become the Society’s secretary.


Glyn Harper (QSM Historical Advisor to the Passchendaele Society)

Glyn Harper is Professor of War Studies at Massey University and was Director of its Centre for Defence and Security Studies for eight years. He is now General Editor of the Centenary History of New Zealand and the First World War. A former teacher, he joined the Australian Army in 1988 and after eight years transferred to the New Zealand Army, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was the army’s official historian of the deployment to East Timor, and is the author of 19 books, many of which have achieved best seller status. Seven of these are children’s books. Some of his books include: ’Massacre at Passchendaele: the New Zealand story’ ; ’Spring Offensive: New Zealand and the Second Battle of the Somme’; ‘Dark Journey’; ‘Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home’; ‘Le Quesnoy: The story of the town New Zealand saved’ (a children’s book); and his latest book ‘For King and Other Countries’.


Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford (Patron)

Wayne is honoured to have been chosen to be the Patron of the Passchendaele Society. Wayne was born and raised in Rotorua and he  joined the RNZN  as a 17year old in 1975. He served for eleven and a half years.  While he was serving he was selected into the NZ All Blacks in 1985 where he went on to be a member of the inaugural RWC  winning team in 1987. Wayne then led the All Blacks on an unbeaten record from 1987-1990.  In 1990 he received the MBE for Services to Rugby and The NZ Commemoration medal.  As well as running his own promotions business,  Wayne is an executive member on the Auckland RSA board, the Patron of the Defence Force Rugby Squad and Navy Rugby, and Ambassador for Prostate Cancer.  Wayne is proud to have served NZ in the Defence Force. He has been active in supporting the 100th year anniversaries of past campaigns over the last 4 years.

Youth Ambassadors:

2015 Portia Baine

Portia is studying at Victoria University of Wellington in both Law and International Relations. Her involvement with the Passchendaele Society began with her winning poem in the 2015 multimedia competition ‘Why should we remember Passchendaele?’

In a rapidly changing social landscape, it is not often enough that we take the time to look back at our history. Yet, failing to do so means that we lose the profound insight which can be found in the past.  My own involvement in the society, for example, promoted me to explore my own family’s involvement in the war, resulting in the discovery and restoration of my family’s medals. The link between past and future is closer than we think; but as the Passchendale society shows, we must take the time to look. I have been honoured to be a youth ambassador for the society, and look forward to the years to come.  

2012 Nathan Garry 

Nathan Garry is currently in his final year studying Mechatronics for the Bachelor of Engineering with honours at the University of Canterbury. During 2016 he will be involved as a part of the ENSOC committee, the largest university club in New Zealand. He is interested in sport particularly tennis, squash, karate, scuba-diving, and spends a considerable amount of time tramping with his family in the hills of Central Otago. Engineering has always been his passion; however he has always had a strong interest in local and family history.

The opportunity to attend the Commemoration on 95th Anniversary of The Battle of Passchendaele was both an honour and a privilege. I would like to extend my thanks to all members of the Passchendaele Society that made this competition possible. I have gained from this experience in many ways. The encouragement of the competition gave me the motivation to delve into my past, through the research I gained an insight into not only the lives of those directly related to me but a better appreciation of how this tragedy affected communities around the country.

Nathan won the  2012 Ministry of Veteran’s Affairs  Competition  “Why Don’t We Remember The Battle of Passchendaele?”  with his entry “The Boys of Upper Junction”