This is the second post connected with ANZAC day 2015. As with the first one if you do not anything about the ANZAC’s then this post will provide you with the background.
Wellington is very much the centre of film production in New Zealand in that we are lucky to have Peter Jackson and the team from Weta Workshops based here. Over the last decade their special effects wizardry has thrilled audiences worldwide with the “Lord of the Rings” and Hobbit Trilogy.
Over the last couple of months Peter and the team from Weta have turned what used to be the Grand Hall of the old National Museum into an exhibition of World War 1. It is told life size as you walk through the story of the war.
The exhibition opened on the 18th April and will run for 4 years being added to along the way. It has attracted large crowds since it has opened. We were very fortunate that we got in at a time that they was no queue. Photography is allowed so below is a teaser of what is in there.
The team at Weta are very skilful at making everything look so realistic. You enter into a small village in Belgium.
Then each year of the war is shown with the archway telling you the year.
The exhibition follows Peter’s grandfather through the war starting with him enlisting by lying about this age.
Peter has quite a collection of memorabilia and many of the elements in the exhibition come from his own collection.
In many places through the exhibition boxes contain the smells associated with the war. In the screens representing the tenches there was a real smell of damp earth.
Around the exhibition are posters depicting modern sayings that had their origin in WW1.
The last screen depicts a young Peter with his grandfather later in life.
When you get through the exhibition you enter a cafe and shop that has be done out like the inside of one of the ships that brought the troops home. You exist the shop via a gangplank down to the exit. Even up close the set looks real.
This is my second post about activities around Wellington this last week. If you are unsure about the term ANZAC then please read my first post.
Just about every town in New Zealand has a war memorial that names those killed in the various conflicts that New Zealand has taken part in. In Wellington we have two, with the larger one taking the form of a carillon and located by the newly built Pukeahu National War Memorial park.
Starting on the 18th a 15 minute light show was created that was projected onto the carillon and then followed by another lightshow on the front of what was originally the National Museum.
We went on a perfect Sunday evening and set up the tripod to record the carillon show. The tower is actually a musical instrument and if you got there for the 7:00pm start the show was accompanied with the bells. It was a very moving experience. The video below is a taste of that carillon show
We then headed up the hill and watched the second lightshow. There was no room for a tripod this time so you will have to excuse the movement in the images.
For reader in other countries, firstly an explanation of what the next series of post are about.
When World War 1 broke out in 1914 Britain called upon its overseas colonies to provide troops and in both Australia and New Zealand large numbers of young men (and a few women) signed up. By the end of the war some 100,000 Kiwis (as we refer to ourselves) had served which at the time was 10% of the countries population. A large number of those were killed or injured and it is estimates that a third of the population was affected in someway.
In early 1915 the British Military leaders brought together divisions of Australian and New Zealand troops and they were called the “Australian & New Zealand Army Corp” or ANZAC for short. On April 25 1915 the ANZAC’s went into their first action landing on the beaches of Gallipoli in modern day Turkey.
The mission was a disaster from the start with inaccurate information and essentially incompetent British commanding officers, so of who had little regard for the safety of their men. For 8 months they tried to hang on against fierce opposition to no avail.
Since then on April 25 each year in towns and cities all around Australia and New Zealand the spirit of the ANZACs, and everyone else who fought in the many wars since are remembered.
This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the landings and as such there has been a much larger focus, than in the previous years. In Wellington events commemorating the centennial started last Saturday and there was plenty of opportunity to get out an take photos.
To do them justice I am going to split up the entries into a series of posts. Once I have them all loved I will come back and edit this post to place direct links into them.