WW1 history comes alive at Waikato Museum


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4 April 2007

Waikato Museum is hosting a trio of exhibitions focussed on WW1 in recognition of ANZAC Day on 25 April.

Postscript: Letters from the Permanent Collection opens on 14 April and is a major social history exhibition based on the theme of correspondence.

Sponsored by Tompkins Wake Lawyers, Postscript offers Waikato Museum patrons the opportunity to immerse themselves in history from the 1860s through to the 1980s, through letters from a variety of sources.

Postscript is unique in that it comprises eight letters selected from Waikato Museum's permanent collection of historical correspondence. Each letter forms the basis of a mini exhibit in which objects and images are used to bring the written word to life.

Waikato Museum director Kate Vusoniwailala says Postscript is an evocative yet interactive experience and many of the letters featured in the exhibition are pertinent to Hamilton's history.

"Postscript offers museum visitors an exciting chance to read these eight letters, which have been brought to life with accompanying objects and photographs, to experience pieces of history through the correspondence of others. Many of the letters are relevant to Hamilton's history, including information on the 1981 Springbok tour, early settlers such as E.J. Pearson and the naming of the Chartwell suburb after Sir Winston Churchill's home in Kent.

"There will also be a wide variety of postcards on display and visitors have the option to choose their own reproduction to fill in and post away, or write a comment and become part of the exhibition by leaving it on a pin board."

The museum's foyer space is currently home to the second feature comprising the WW1 theme. Passchendaele, which opened on 24 March and runs through to 31 July, is a moving experience commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

The Passchendaele installation features footage developed by the Imperial War Museum and currently displayed at the Flanders Field Museum in Ieper, Belgium. Museum and visitors are invited to reflect on the tragedy as they absorb the sights, sounds and words of Passchendaele. There is also the opportunity to contribute to the installation by leaving a poppy as a symbol of both gratitude to the fallen, as well as gratitude to those cities in Europe who continue to care for them.

The Passchendaele installation holds particular relevance to Hamilton's ANZAC Day celebrations this year as a visiting delegation from Ieper, a town close to Passchendaele in Belgium.

The third feature making up the trio occupies the museum's vitrine area and is a glitter carpet installation by Mark Curtis honouring the memory of those who fell in the many campaigns of the Great War.

On ANZAC Day itself, Waikato Museum is holding a community day from 12pm onwards featuring a range of performances that remember the fallen and reflect on the past. Everyone is welcome to come along and free tea and scones will be provided.

NAME: Kate Vusoniwailala
DESIGNATION: Waikato Museum Director
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6709
MOBILE: 021 620 098
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6571
NAME: Naomi Reynolds
DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761
Page reviewed: 04 Apr 2007 12:00am