Newsletter #14

Posted on April 3rd, 2014

2014 AGM

The 2014 AGM was held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Auditorium on Thursday 20th March and was very well attended considering we have more than 50 members who do not live in or near Auckland, including 10 overseas. There have been a few changes to your Board – Sandi Notredame stepped down as a member of the Board due to increasing work demands, however she will remain active as the E-News editor!   Phil Martell did not stand for re-election as Treasurer, however he is keen to stay active on his return from his extended overseas vacation by continuing with the several major projects he has been involved in; also Pauline McCowan did not stand for re-election to the Board. Your new Board Members are:

Iain MacKenzie – President

Chis Mullane – Vice President

Mike Hartley – Hon. Treasurer

Bob Davis – Hon. Secretary

Leon O’Flynn

Ken Young

Mike Pritchard

Lode Notredame

Jamie Wansey
Helen Pollock spoke about her Falls the Shadow sculpture and the logistics of getting such a fragile piece of artwork safely to Europe and on a road tour to Belgium and France. It is now installed permanently at the Passchendaele Memorial Museum at Zonnebeke – the opening ceremony of the extensions at the Museum was well attended by a large number of dignitaries.

We also enjoyed a short film-clip from Eve Bain, our first Youth Ambassador. She spoke ‘to’ the AGM outlining her vision of establishing a Youth Group at her university in Wellington to help create awareness to her fellow students about the battles that took place in Belgium. One of her first priorities is to secure permission to establish a Field of Remembrance (White Crosses) on the grounds of the university.

Vice-President Chris Mullane spoke to the meeting about the desire to increase membership of the Society – not, in his words, about the money but rather about engaging people. He suggested that each existing member try to recruit one more member.

Jamie Wansey spoke briefly about engaging with today’s youth and his vision of sending a Youth delegation to Belgium, hopefully in 2017.

New Partnership

The Passchendaele Society Board is thrilled to announce an exciting partnership with Student Horizons Ltd, the educational travel company. They have provided a generous sponsorship/donation to the value of $10,000 ($2,500 per year over the period of four years) to be utilised towards travel costs for young people travelling to Belgium in 2017.

Student Horizons specializes in providing New Zealand students with outstanding overseas educational experiences and it is agreed that we share similar values for growing students’ educational horizons, so it is hoped that through working in partnership we can achieve more for each other and together.

Student Horizons will help promote awareness of Passchendaele and the part that New Zealanders played in this battle to young people through all of Student Horizons marketing mediums including their website, E-Newsletter, educational partners, social media channels, school presentations and exhibitions & expos. They will also help us to set up a raft of social media platforms through which we can better communicate and engage with young people, a vital step we believe to educate the younger generations!

If you are planning an educational, expeditionary or sporting school trip to Europe in the coming years, be sure to visit


It is great to see communities getting involved with WW1 commemorations without our help!  The Estuary Arts World War 1 Commemorative Programme at Orewa runs from April 2nd until 27th this year, with the official opening at 2.00pm on Saturday 5th.  On display will be a collection of original Military artworks on loan from Greg Moyle’s private collection;  “Letters from the front”, quilting exhibition by the Disability Stitch Project; A Printmakers Mapping Project of WW1; “Lest We Forget” writers’ workshops with Lyn Dawson and gallery floor talks.

Also on display will be the Red Poppy Project – an installation of handmade ceramic poppies by members of our community and students from Orewa College, Whangaparaoa College, Upper Harbour School, Ahuroa School and Kingsway. At last count they had made almost 1000 poppies!

More information can be found here If you know of other Community projects, please let me know so I can inform members via the E-News!


The 5000 Poppies Project is gaining momentum. All Kiwis are invited to contribute their hand-knitted or crocheted poppy creations as part of the 2015 ANZAC Day commemorations. The plan is to create a wall of more than 5000 poppies as a stunning visual tribute to New Zealand servicemen & women for their services in all wars. Completed poppies can be sent to Lisa Wallace, 22/1 Mead Street, Avondale 1026, Auckland. Visit to find out more.

The WW100 website 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.

Passchendaele Society founding member Herb Farrant is again taking his Tag Along Tour to Flanders and Le Quesnoy in April, the tour includes ANZAC Day at Messines where the town council will open their brand new Visitor Centre. The main attraction here is the exhibition which focuses on its WW1 history and of course New Zealand’s involvement during this crucial period. More information can be found on the New Zealand Military Historical Society website The website is also an excellent source of information for news & events for all things military.

Keith Sloane is another Passchendaele Society member and he is about to publish his book about the1st NZ Light Trench Mortar Battery’s campaigns from May 1916 to war’s end. The hard-cover book has 400 pages with 300 photographs and 21 new maps, with every one of the 232 men and officers mentioned. Contents are from private diaries, war records, letters and war correspondence. Details include casualty details, major battles, honours awarded, Courts of Inquiry, missing men, accidental death, football and cricket matches and much more. The books are priced at $60 for pre-publication orders, please contact

When our Jack went to war is a junior fiction aimed at intermediate aged children and was written by PS member Sandy Mckay. The book is written as letters between Jack who went off to war and was eventually killed at Passchendaele and his younger brother Tom (Sandy’s grandfather) who was left behind in Dunedin. The well-researched and written book is fiction based on fact and is highly recommended as a teaching tool.


The Fields of Remembrance Trust have recently secured an agreement together with the Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage Hon. Chris Finlayson to lay crosses at Parliament on July 28th to mark the 100 year anniversary of the official start of World War 1 when Austria-Hungary formally declared war against Serbia. For those a little rusty on your history, this article explains the July crisis and who chose what sides for which reasons.

Their website is constantly evolving and is worth a look at. Any enquiries about the Fields of Remembrance project can be referred with confidence to the updated website.


Those who attended the AGM received a copy of our New Zealand Remembrance Trail.  For those that were unable to attend you should be receiving one in the mail in the next week or so. These were made available through the very generous donation from one of our members – to that anonymous person, again thank you very much!

If you did not receive one or you require more copies please do not hesitate to ask by sending an email to Sandi at  If you know of family or acquaintances travelling to Belgium the brochures are a wonderful source of information about New Zealand specific sites.  A copy will be sent gladly; they are available FOC to non-members as well  –  however, in exchange we do ask for a donation to cover costs or the recipient can of course become a member of our Society, if they so choose, in order to stay informed.

To new members, welcome – you can catch up on old Newsletters to see what has been happening by clicking on the “previous” button at the bottom of this page.

How to contact us

(Hon.Secretary, Bob Davis) Email:

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