News from Auckland War Memorial Museum
More than 1500 people gathered on Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Court of Honour today to commemorate Armistice Day with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Director Roy Clare says it was heartening to see those gathered to remember.
“In the 94th year since Armistice it was truly heartening to see so many people sharing today’s commemoration. Marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it was a particular privilege for our city that the service was held in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses.
“Together, led by the Prime Minister and the Mayor, we remembered in gratitude all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and especially those 4000 Aucklanders who gave their lives in World War 2.
“At a personal level, having served at sea as First Lieutenant in the minehunter HMS Bronington under the command of Lieutenant The Prince of Wales in 1976, it was a memorably unique reunion with a fellow ‘veteran’ 36 years on.”
Prior to the Armistice Day service the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were welcomed with a mihi whakatau with Ngati Whatua.
The Prince of Wales was also given an opportunity to view special items from the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s collections including the Highgrove Florilegium and the diary of Sir Edmund Hillary.
“The Highgrove Florilegium held by the museum is the only copy in the southern hemisphere and one of only 175 published for the Prince’s Trust. The Florilegium features illustrations by the New Zealand botanical artist Susan Worthington,” says Library Collections team leader Theresa Graham. “The Hillary diary is known as the ‘Everest diary, 1953 and is part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s personal papers held here at the museum. The diary offers an insight into Sir Edmund’s style of writing and gives a glimpse of the dramatic day-to-day events of the expedition.”
After the service the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met veterans for morning tea. Veterans included Murray Adlington (Hillsborough) and Keith Holmes (Mairangi Bay), members of the 24 Battalion which beat retreat in April this year.