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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Auckland War Memorial Museum remembers Christchurch - 3rd Anniversary of the devastating quake of 22 February 2011

Indelibly etched into my psyche for the rest of my life, it is nice to see this catastrophic event remembered in Auckland.  The effects of this earthquake and subsequent ones are far reaching - a few of us that work here have family and friends that have suffered and still are suffering on an emotional level.
This commemoration is a more low key one than the first commemoration at the museum and rightfully so, we are moving on and the sharp edges of loss, despair and emotional upheaval are blurring a bit...I said ... a bit.  We still have to remember that we've lost childhood roots and homes, our families and acquaintances have had their social structures torn out from under them, the rebuild is slow and frustrations still torment. It is important to remember to support those still going through turmoil.
Just my 'bands 4 hope' and I
Nearly to the hour

all in a row
North entrance
North entrance

South entrance


Christchurch earthquake remembered Part 2
-There was much footage in this that I hadn't seen before

©2014 Sarndra Lees

Saturday, 1 February 2014

I wish I knew the wee boys name....

I saw this photograph for sale by a New Zealand vendor and had to purchase it.  Such a lovely thing and such a shame there is no photographer identification.

I'm theorising that this dapper wee [probably blonde haired and blue eyed] fellow's dad died in World War 1 albeit he looks rather a happy wee chap with his little thumbs tucked into his pockets.  It seems his mother, has made him into his fathers 'mini-me', wearing almost a miniature uniform with a 'kerchief tucked into his breast pocket.
A flower that looks suspiciously like the Oxeye daisy is placed in the left lapel - maybe a favourite of the man whose memory inspired the photo originally?  Or maybe to form a connection between the wee boy and the lost sailor - being that daisies represent innocence, gentleness and purity.
An animal skin appears to be hiding a chair or similar that the boy is standing on and the backdrop gives the feeling of being outdoors.

On close inspection of his hat I can barely make out the battle cruiser's name on the brim.
"HMS ROYALIST" and there appears above the wording an embroidered anchor with Laurel and a badge with the image of a moustached man...maybe the boys father.
Forward 6-inch gun and bridge on Royalist
HMS Royalist  of the Royal Navy fought in the Battle of Jutland on the 31 May to 1 June 1916.  She survived the battle and in February 1917 was reassigned to the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. She survived to the end of the First World War.
Maybe the lad's daddy didn't survive, or maybe the photo is earlier and the boy is in fancy dress to represent an earlier HMS Royalist in the 1880's-90's to the Pacific and connections with war in Samoa.  Whatever the story, it's a reminder to put notes with your precious family photographs.  Never assume that your stories will stay within living memory or that other people won't find them interesting in 100 years.

©2014 Sarndra Lees