Category Archives: Events

Anne Frank Let Me Be Myself is Open

Anne Frank – Let Me Be Myself, the life story of Anne Frank, opened last night and will be showing until  July 2018. Run by the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, this new exhibition and its accompanying educational programme aims to inform young people about Anne Frank and the Holocaust, and challenge them to explore subjects like identity, prejudice and discrimination.

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance and prejudice in action,” said Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, who officially opened the exhibition.

“No one in 1933 could have predicted the horror their country would experience. No one can predict the impact of fringe voices in society. It’s my job and your job, our job, to give nothing to racism. We must stand up to intolerance every time we see it.”

Mayor Justin Lester open Anne Frank Let Me Be Myself
Left to right: His Excellency, Dutch Ambassador, Robert Zaagman; His Worship Mayor of Wellington, Justin Lester; Chair, Anne Frank NZ, Boyd Klap; Chair, Holocaust Centre NZ, Jeremy Smith; His Excellency, German Ambassador, Gerhard Thiedemann; Director of Education, Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, Chris Harris.

Lester went on to praise the people of Wellington for their incredible tolerance and understanding, particularly of new migrants. But he emphasised that the positive reinforcement of this attitude must continue down the generations.

“This exhibition will illuminate, insight, and teach us to never forget and to learn from the horrors we have seen.”

Peer guides from Fiedling High School giving a tour to Mayor Justin Lester and other guests. Peers will guide school groups through the exhibition, helping youth understand the effects of discrimination.
Solveig Ramsay, from Tawa College, shows Dutch Ambassador, Rob Zaagman, a ‘Jood’ badge similar to the one Anne and her family would have be forced to wear.

The Anne Frank House launched this exhibition as the successor of the acclaimed exhibition, Anne Frank – a History for Today, which has been shown in 90 countries since 1995. The worldwide launch of Let Me Be Myself was in Canberra, Australia, in February 2015.

Anne Frank – Let Me Be Myself will run at the Dominion Museum Building, 15 Buckle Street, Wellington, between May 24th and July 22nd 2018.  The exhibition has no admission charge and is open to the public from 9am – 6pm daily. For more information, click here. To book a school group, please contact education@holocaustcentre.org.nz

Dr Gusky – The Human Connection – Messages to the Future from WW1

The American Embassy are hosting an a talk by Dr. Jeff Gusky, open to the public, on Wednesday February 28th at 6pm at The Great War Exhibition.

In 2014, National Geographic Photographer, Emergency Physician & Explorer, Dr. Jeff Gusky made a startling discovery. The underground site with the most WWI soldiers inscriptions anywhere on the Western Front was filled with century-old, handwritten messages by ANZAC soldiers. ANZAC forces hold the record as most prolific, having written more graffiti than any other army of WWI.

The most prolific American WWI unit was New England’s Yankee Division, which included Native American heroes who volunteered to fight though they would not be offered citizenship until years after WWI.  They left behind emotional carvings reflecting their ancient tribal traditions in underground cities in Picardy, not knowing that other native peoples like the New Zealand Maori were also contributing to the war effort and leaving their mark underground 100 miles north in Arras.

Thousands of WWI soldiers lived in hundreds of underground cities throughout The Great War.  The vastness of this network of WWI underground cities is still largely unknown.  Now in total darkness, these are time capsules which form a direct human connection between then and now.  The passage of hundred years seems like only a day. Once illuminated by electric lights, the walls of these underground cities contain beautiful works of art carved by soldiers who reconstituted a human world underground as the world’s first modern mass destruction raged on the surface.

Dr. Gusky’s presentation will take the audience on an emotional journey to experience The Hidden World of World War I.  He invites you to help him gain a deeper understanding of those who travelled to France ‘From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth’.

Admission to the talk is free of charge.

Women’s War – Opening this Week

Our exciting new exhibition, Women’s War, is opening this Friday, 23 February.

Catch a glimpse into the lives of six different types of New Zealand women who were active in the First World War—patriotic, supportive family, nurses, entertainers, independent workers and pioneers. Hear their voices come to life in a captivating audio-visual show. See examples of the clothing they used to wear. Experience the First World War from a woman’s perspective.

While men suffered ghastly atrocities on the battlefields, the women of New Zealand also faced the realities of war. Everyone was called upon to support the war effort—girls gave up their educations to tend to family farms, while other women volunteered by knitting socks for soldiers. Nurses fought to travel to the front lines to tend the sick and wounded, while others challenged the status-quo by pioneering campaigns on issues like venereal disease.

Please click here for more information about this fresh and compelling view of the Great War.

Palestine Exploration Fund features War in the Holy Lands

Photographs from the Palestine Exploration Fund of London were used by Story Inc. and Dusk in creating our latest touring exhibition, War in the Holy Lands, which tells the story of New Zealanders serving in the Middle East in the First world War.

Palestine Exploration Fund features War in the Holy Lands on blog

This blog post on the Palestine Exploration Fund’s website examines the exhibition, which tells heart-wrenching tales, often in the soldier’s own words. Here are a  few excerpts from the post:

“The exhibit uses six big projection screens and an immersive audio environment to create a powerful visitor experience out of still imagery and first-hand verbatim accounts of soldiers’ experiences.”

“Other moments that pack an emotional punch in War in the Holy Lands come from the stories about the bonds between the men and their horses.

We’d hear a heavy smack and know a horse had been hit. Mostly they were hit through the stomach and would just shake themselves a little. The owner would take the saddle off immediately, for it was always a mortal wound. The horse would nose around among his mates, shake himself, and five minutes later roll on the sand. It was the beginning of the end.”

— Captain Arthur Rhodes, New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, World War 1

See the full Palestine Exploration Fund article here.

Holy Lands World War One in Egypt - Palestine Exploration Fund

War in the Holy Lands – Cook Strait News

Our latest touring exhibition, War in the Holy Lands featured in the Cook Strait News in late December. Reporter Jamie Adams interviewed James McLean, one of the creators from Story Inc., who co-produced War in the Holy Lands and many of our other touring exhibitions.

War in the Holy Lands runs until 20 February 2018 and shows a side of the Middle East that our soldiers never learned about in Sunday school. Read the article below or here.

 

Cook Strait - War in the Holy Lands
Jamie Adams interviews James McLean, whose silhouette is featured as General Allenby behind them in shadow play.

Lest We Forget The Other – Opening

The recent opening of our temporary exhibition, Lest We Forget The Other,  was celebrated by the New Zealand Chinese and Indian Communities with dignitaries, politicians and leaders of both ethnic communities attending.

The first of its kind, this temporary exhibition highlights the service of Chinese and Indian New Zealanders in the First World War and is on display until 25 March 2018. Lest We Forget – The Other tells individual stories, which are as diverse as the soldiers themselves. More information is available here.

Ian Wards, exhibition manager, says, “It was a colorful and vibrant evening with thought-provoking speeches – a good tribute to the NZ-Chinese and NZ-Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War.”

The opening was covered by OTV News here (see 16:18 mins) and featured in Wellington’s Independent Herald, and Asia Samachar, an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries.

 

The NZ Indian Central Association featured the event on their Facebook page.

Posted by NZ Indian Central Assn on Friday, 24 November 2017

Passchendaele Reunion 100 O’Malley Descendants

Emma Bradley organised a family reunion for over 100 relatives, all descendants of her grandfather who was wounded at Passchendaele in 1917. The reunion, held at The Great War Exhibition, was a chance for some of Paul O’Malley’s 11 children, 45 grandchildren and over 80 great-grandchildren to gather together while learning more about the First World War.

Emma’s grandfather, Second Lieutenant Peter Paul O’Malley, known as Paul, was born in 1897 in Ireland and immigrated to Central Otago. He and his brother enlisted from Nasbey, Central Otago while Paul was a law student. He served with the North Otago Regiment.

Sir Peter Jackson, whose company WingNut Films created the Exhibition, supplied a signed colourised image of Passchendaele, which was presented to Emma. The family members viewed the temporary exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and had a special guided tour of The Great War Exhibition.

Fairfax reporters recognised the significance of this event and attended the family reunion. Click here to see their article and accompanying photos, and click here to see an Otago Daily Times article.

Emma Bradley, who organised her family reunion for 100 descendants of Passchendaele survivor Paul O’Malley, holding a colourised, signed image of Passchendaele, from Sir Peter Jackson. Behind Emma, is the 1.7m family tree she created for the occasion.
O'Mally Family Reunion at The Great War Exhibition.
Descendants of Paul O’Malley with the colourised image of Passchendaele signed and donated by Sir Peter Jackson.

Passchendaele survivor's descendants gather at The Great War Exhibition.

To book a function at The Great War Exhibition, please contact our friendly staff on 04 978 2500 or email Info@GreatWarExhibition.nz

Pukeahu Historic Tours – Wellington City Heritage Week

The Great War Exhibition are thrilled to be hosting specialty tours during Wellington City Heritage Week (23rd – 29th  October).

Fascinating Pukeahu historic tours

Let our knowledgeable tour guides take you on a journey through layers of fascinating history at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Understand the history at Pukeahu, Mt Cook, in the heart of the city and how it was transformed from a site of Maori occupation, to a military barracks, and now a site of national remembrance.

Pukeahu Historic Tour
Great War Exhibition tour guide, Chris Harp, will show you tunnels from the First World War as part of the Pukeahu Historic Tour (Wellington City Heritage Week 2018).

More information about Pukeahu Historic Tours is available here.

Wellington City Heritage Week, 23rd – 29th  October, explores Wellington’s people, places, and stories through tours, exhibitions, open properties, films, and discussions. Over 20 events are spread through the week, suitable for all interests and ages.

Pukeahu Historic Tours Wellington City Heritage Week

Horrors of Passchendaele on Stuff

Dominion Post reporters visited the opening of Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and described the latest in The Great War Exhibitions series of temporary exhibitions, as “encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele.”

Horrors of Passchendaele

Jessica Long reports online, on Stuff: “Five screens encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele have brought the battle to life inside the Dominion Museum [Building] as the centenary commemorations of ‘New Zealand’s Darkest Day’ approach.”

“The temporary exhibition combines shocking images of the dead and wounded, and of the harrowing conditions in the muddy fields of Belgium, along with with words from soldiers’ letters and diaries,” she reports.

“The sounds of explosions hit the ground within the exhibition room as a virtual screen depicts the muddy ground.”

She interviewed Jack Gradwell, who loaned a  bayonet and 1913 Kodak camera, which survived Passcehdaele with his great-grandfather, Captain George Gradwell.

Jessica writes, “The captain’s great-grandson, Jack Gradwell of Wellington, said George miraculously survived Passchendaele but suffered for the rest of his life, having been gassed, buried alive and had his skull fractured during the war.”

Read the full article on Stuff, by clicking here.

Learn about Passchendaele talks, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and other Passchedaele-related displays at The Great War Exhibition by clicking here.

Banner Photo: Kevin Stent of Stuff photographs Ian Wards, exhibition manager at The Great War Exhibition, with a mustard gas shell that was fired at the Battle of Passchendaele – on loan from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, in Belgium.

This is one of two gas shells that will be available for viewing during Passchendaele talks on October 7, 8 and 12. For more information, click here.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a temporary exhibition funded by the Lottery Grants Board and created by Story Inc. (concept), Dusk (visual imagery), Toulouse (technology) and sound engineer, Jeremy Cullen.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until early December 2017.

Darkest Day on Radio NZ Checkpoint

Today at the opening of our new Exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, Radio New Zealand reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui  talked to Exhibition Manager Ian Wards about the Battle of Passchendaele.

“The reality was Passchendaele was awful,” Wards says, “and we would really like people to understand that, but also one of the main reasons why [The Great War Exhibition is] here is so we don’t do this kind of stuff again.”

The Battle of Passchendaele of 1917, included the darkest day in New Zealand’s military history. 843 soldiers were killed on 12 October 1917, the most on any single day of combat involving New Zealand troops.

The opening of the exhibition featured on John Campbell’s Checkpoint show at 5:48 p.m. tonight. Listen to the Radio NZ Checkpoint podcast here.

See the Radio NZ article here.

Photo: Radio New Zealand Reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui interviews the public at The Great War Exhibition.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until mid December 2017. Click here for more information.