The Great War Exhibition and Pukeahu National War Memorial Park

Monday was my first actual school visit, and we visited a lovely high school and had some great conversations with the staff – while most of my project is focused on younger students, I found that it was very beneficial to have the opportunity to see “where the students are headed” and talk about the options for secondary schooling in NZ.

After we finished at the school, I decided I would visit the Great War Exhibition, which was put together by none other than the famous Peter Jackson (it often feels like I am a little bit of a Peter Jackson groupie here in New Zealand, but I will take it – I might totally pull a fan girl moment if I run into him on the street, by the way, #justsaying).

All silliness aside, this exhibition was well done, moving and seriously though provoking. In the US WWI is discussed, but in many cases, education, knowledge and information of WWI is much more overshadowed by WWII – I think owing to the length of our involvement in WWII the US, as well as the fact that, for me (and many of my peers as well), I had a grandfather who fought in WWII, so I was “invested” I guess?

For New Zealanders, the Great War was one of devastating loss. As an isolated island nation, it was also the first glimpse many Kiwis had, post colonization, of the world outside of New Zealand. This journey was well done, and really opened my eyes to the historical roll that NZ forces played in the War. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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For more information, and much better images than I could hope to capture, visit the Exhibition website: http://www.greatwarexhibition.nz/

Just down from the exhibition is the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and the Hall of Memories. These touching memorials serve to commemorate the losses New Zealand has had in War.

I have a few pictures below, but you can also learn more at the websites: http://www.mch.govt.nz/pukeahu-national-war-memorial-park and http://www.mch.govt.nz/pukeahu/park/national-war-memorial/hall-memories

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One really cool thing on display was from a school project at one of the local Girl’s High School.

The assignment was to design a gown with the position of being pro or anti conscription in mind.  I loved the gowns, as well as the thoughtful explanations (what a cool design project idea as well!).

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