HERITAGE AND HISTORICAL MATTERS

On this page, you will find Heritage-related items. This may include Military Heritage items, Military History presentation programme details, and other items of heritage interest.

2022 MILITARY HISTORY PRESENTATION SERIES

 The Engineer Corps Memorial Centre (ECMC) as part of the RNZE Charitable Trust and in partnership with the Palmerston North City Library (PNCL), will continue to host these presentations. The Draft 2022 Programme includes:

10 Feb (MMMHP) – “The Singapore Strategy – Part 2” (80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, in February 1942), by CDR (Rtd) Richard Jackson, RNZN

10 Mar (MMMHP) – “The NZ Army Staff College at Massey University and Linton Military Camp” (80th anniversary of both, 1942), by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZ Defence College (NZDC)

14 Apr (MMMHP) – “The First Battle of the Somme in 1916” by LTCOL (Rtd) Prof Glyn Harper, QSM, Professor of War Studies at Massey University

27 Apr (Globe 2 Theatre) – WW1 topic presentation by Assoc Prof Maartje Abbenhuis, Auckland University

12 May (MMMHP) – “Life as a Beefeater in the Tower of London” by WO1 (Rtd) Partrick Nolan, RNZEME (now RNZALR)

9 Jun (MMMHP) – “Soldiers Without Guns – (Operation BIG TALK) – Part 2 – The continuing Bougainville and PNG peace talks”, by RADM (Rtd) David Ledson, RNZN

21 Jun (Tue – EPLP) – “First Battle of Alamein, including Alam Halfa Ridge and Ruweisat Ridge” (80th anniversary, 1942), by LTCOL (Rtd) Prof Glyn Harper, Massey University

14 Jul (MMMHP) – “Operation FARAD – Multinational Force Observers (MFO), Sinai” (40th anniversary of establishment/NZ involvement), by MAJ Mike Pettersen, MNZM, RNZE

11 Aug (MMMHP) – “The Greek Campaign in WW2”, by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZDC

30 Aug (Tue – EPLP) – “The Battle of Gate Pa – Pukehinahina, in 1864”, by LTCOL (Rtd) Dr Chris Pugsley, ONZM, FRHistS

8 Sep (MMMHP) – “Signals Corps Centenary”, by LTCOL Jared McGregor, RNZ Sigs, CO,1 CSR

13 Oct (MMMHP) – NZ Wars month – “The Musket Wars from the early 1800’s”, by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZDC

11 Nov (Fri – EPLP) – “A Place for Heroes – The Battle of Rossignol Wood (Copse 125 – July 1918)”, by LTCOL (Rtd) Dr Chris Pugsley, ONZM, FRHistS

24 Nov (MMMHP) – “Hunting the Bombers – the Luftwaffe Night Fighter Campaign”, by PO(EWO) (Rtd) Dennis O’Rourke, MNZN, RNZN

(Note that all the 2020-21 audio recordings and Powerpoint presentations are on the “nzsappers” website (see letterhead above). EPLP = Evening Public Lecture Presentation at the Globe Theatre and MMMHP = Monthly Midday Military History Presentation at Level 2, Heritage Section, PN City Library or the Globe Theatre.)

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DRAFT PNCC MILITARY HERITAGE/HISTORY COMMEMORATION PROGRAMME 2022-2027

This draft programme follows on from the approved and successful 2021 activity listing.  2021 activities are now about to end and an outline for a similar format/schedule for years 2022 to 2027, is provided.  This includes the military history presentations known as the “Evening Public Lecture Presentations” (EPLP) and the “Monthly Midday Military History Presentations” (MMMHP). There are also “Major City Events” (MCE) as shown below and other related military historical anniversaries, activities and events.  This programme has been based around discussions with the PNCC Mayor, Chair of the PNCC Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee, PNCL Heritage team, PNCC Events team, PNDHAG members and the PNRSA Executive Committee.  The programme is very dynamic, venues include PNCL Level 2 (Heritage Section), The Globe Theatre and Te Manawa Education Rooms, depending upon availability and evolving Covid-19 restrictions.  Following invitations will confirm dates, timings and venues, together with any associated health and safety requirements.

2022 Draft Programme:

 6/7 Feb – Waitangi Day

10 Feb (MMMHP) – “Singapore Strategy – Part 2” (80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, in February 1942), by CDR (Rtd) Richard Jackson, RNZN

15 Feb – 80th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore in WW2

24 Feb – NZ War Animal Memorial (Purple Poppy) Day at NAM, Waiouru

10 Mar (MMMHP) – “The NZ Army Staff College at Massey University and Linton Military Camp” (80th anniversary of both, 1942), by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZ Defence College (NZDC)

11-13 Mar – NZ Rural Games (potential for NZDF teams participating)

Apr-May – WW2 80th anniversary topic display at PNCL, Level 2 (Heritage Section)

14 Apr (MMMHP) – “The First Battle of the Somme in 1916” by LTCOL (Rtd) Prof Glyn Harper, QSM, Professor of War Studies at Massey University

22 Apr – RNZRSA and PNRSA National Poppy Day (week from Easter running up to this Friday)

25 Apr – (MCE) ANZAC Day (Dawn and Civic) Parades and Services in Te Marae o Hine/The Square and elsewhere in Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe, Linton Camp and the Māori Battalion Hall.

27 Apr – (Tue – Globe 2 Theatre) WW1 and book topic presentation by Assoc Prof Maartje Abbenhuis, Auckland University (placeholder)

8 May – VE (Victory in Europe – WW2) Day – 77th Anniversary

12 May (MMMHP) – “Life as a Beefeater in the Tower of London” by WO1 (Rtd) Partrick Nolan, RNZEME (now RNZALR)

3-6 Jun – 80th anniversary of the Battle of Midway in the Pacific

9 Jun (MMMHP) – “Soldiers Without Guns – (Operation BIG TALK) – Part 2 – The continuing Bougainville and PNG peace talks”, by RADM (Rtd) David Ledson, RNZN

14 Jun – 80th anniversary of the landing of 1 (US) Marine Division (5,000) troops in Wellington

21 Jun (Tue – EPLP) – “The First Battle of Alamein, including Alam Halfa Ridge and Ruweisat Ridge” (80th anniversary, 1942), by LTCOL (Rtd) Prof Glyn Harper, Massey University

24 Jun – Matariki (Friday) observance

1 Jul – 80th anniversary of the First Battle of El Alamein

14 Jul (MMMHP) – “Operation FARAD – Multinational Force Observers (MFO), Sinai” (40th anniversary of establishment/NZ involvement), by MAJ Mike Pettersen, MNZM, RNZE

August – Potential for the 2022 PNRSA Youth Speech Competition at PNCC Youth Space (DTBA)

8 Aug – Chunuk Bair (107th – WW1) anniversary day

11 Aug (MMMHP) – “The Greek Campaign in WW2”, by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZDC

15 Aug – VJ (Victory over Japan – WW2) Day – 77th Anniversary

30 Aug (Tue – EPLP) – “The Battle of Gate Pa – Pukehinahina, in 1864”, by LTCOL (Rtd) Dr Chris Pugsley, ONZM, FRHistS

8 Sep (MMMHP) – “Signals Corps Centenary”, by LTCOL Jared McGregor, CO,1 CSR

1 Oct – 80th anniversary of legally constituting the establishment of the WRNZNS, WAAC and WAAF, as parts of the Navy, Army and Air Force in NZ (in 1942)

12 Oct – Passchendaele (105th – WW1) anniversary day

13 Oct (MMMHP) – NZ Wars month – “The Musket Wars from the early 1800’s”, by LTCOL Dr Peter Wood, ONZM, Director of the NZ Wars Study Centre, NZDC

15 Oct – 120th anniversary of the Corps of Royal NZ Engineers (reunion in PN, 14-16 Oct 22)

23 Oct – 80th anniversary of the Second Batte of El Alamein (Operation LIGHTFOOT)

11 Nov – (MCE) Armistice Day Parade and Service in Te Marae o Hine/The Square and NZPPT launch of more Linton Camp streets of significance, following the service

11 Nov (Fri – EPLP) – “A Place for Heroes – The Battle of Rossignol Wood (Copse 125 – July 1918)”, by LTCOL (Rtd) Dr Chris Pugsley, ONZM, FRHistS

24 Nov (MMMHP) – “Hunting the Bombers – the Luftwaffe Night Fighter Campaign”, by PO(EWO) (Rtd) Dennis O’Rourke, MNZN, RNZN

2023 (Details and Dates TBA) – will be developed during the latter course of 2022, with a similar pattern to previous years.  These activities could include the “Battle of the Bridges” event in March 2023 (hosted by Linton Camp and run by the Corps of RNZE and Defence Recruiting) in Te Marae o Hine/The Square and the WHAM Conference, which is likely to be held in April 2023 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum focusing on the theme of civil war. There is also the potential for a RNZAF commemorative event to celebrate the Centennial of the establishment of the NZ Permanent Airforce in 1923

Otherwise for 2024-2027, a similar format/pattern as in previous years for both EPLP and MMMHP programmes, two major commemorative events (or MCE – ANZAC Day and Armistice Day), plus an annual NZDF activity/event, provided by Linton Camp (1 (NZ) Bde) and RNZAF Base Ohakea, as Charter partners of the PNCC.

  

RSA Paddling Pool, Victoria Esplanade, Palmerston North

In 1937 the New Zealand Returned Soldiers’ Association, which had been founded in 1916, celebrated its twenty-first anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, local branches of the RSA presented statements to their municipal councils expressing their appreciation of the support provided by the community to soldiers both during World War One and in the years that followed. The Palmerston North branch decided they also wanted to provide “a tangible reminder of our gratitude.” This led to the organisation’s sponsorship of the paddling pool constructed in the Botanic Gardens on Victoria Esplanade.

Bertram (Bert) Jacobs, the Dominion vice-president of the RSA and president of the Palmerston North branch, had originally written to the town clerk on 4 March 1937, proposing that the association “donate to the City two seats of appropriate design in the close proximity (one either end) of the Memorial in the Square Gardens” (B. J. Jacobs to the Town Clerk, 4 March 1937). However, following  a meeting in May the RSA instead agreed to the suggestion of “a Children’s Paddling Pool … with seats at the sides and tablet on the back thereof” with the work to be “undertaken with R.S.A. labour employed by the Council” (Town Clerk to Jacobs, 25 May 1937). Work commenced on the pool in mid-1937 and it was ready for use in October. The Manawatu Times reported: “It was not long either, before the children discovered that there was water in the new paddling pool which the Palmerston North branch of the R.S.A. has constructed as a gift to the city.  Boots and socks were soon stripped off and the joy of a new pastime indulged in” (18 October 1937).

The total cost of constructing the paddling pool was £416-13-0, towards which the members of the RSA contributed a donation of £75. Labour costs included £38-16-7 for workers hired under the unemployment relief scheme and £90-18-4 for the wages of council employees.

The form of the paddling pool is that of a circle intersected by a rectangle, which broadly resembles the shape of the RSA badge. The pool is 80 feet (24.4 meters) in length and filled with six inches of water. Alongside the paddling pool are a pergola and brick wall, which were funded through donations from Palmerston North businesses. The commemorative marble tablet was donated by W. E. Jones and installed by H. W. Johnson. (‘Returned Soldiers,’ Manawatu Standard, 31 May 1938).

Repairs were made to the pool over the years, but by 1978 the loss of water through cracks had become a major problem. The Director of Reserves, John W. Bolton, recommended that the paddling pool be replaced and that a filtration system be installed to help maintain the cleanliness of the water. Upon learning of this proposal, Arthur Lockwood, president of the Palmerston North Returned Services Association, contacted Bolton, writing:

“The Paddling Pool is a gift of which we are extremely proud and one of the most used facilities in the City, and it would be a great loss to this Association if our connection with this facility was obliterated in any way.

     It is requested therefore that in any replacement Pool the sentiments of the Returned Soldiers original gift to the City of Palmerston North be preserved and to this end this Association would wish to be consulted and represented in any proposals for the replacement of the Pool.” (16 November 1978).

After being assured that the replacement would replicate the original design and acknowledge its connection to the RSA, the Palmerston North branch selected the paddling pool as their fundraising project for 1979. Later that year they presented a cheque for $2824 to the council, as a contribution towards the costs of either repairing or replacing the paddling pool.

The contract for reconstructing the pool was awarded to A.J. Wood and Robson Ltd and the new filtration system was provided and installed by Filtermaster N.Z. Ltd. Work commenced in September 1983 and the new paddling pool, which was painted ‘iceberg’ blue, was available for children’s enjoyment in December. In total, the cost of the project was $40,905. The brick wall, pergola and commemorative plaque are the original structures that were installed in 1937, although the wall beneath the pergola is now decorated with a mural by Gemma Farrell.

Sources:

‘Ex-servicemen Say Thank You: Paddling Pool Presented to Citizens as Appreciation of Assistance Rendered,’ Manawatu Times, 8 June 1937.

‘Gratitude of R.S.A.: Gifts to City: Co-Operation Appreciated,’ Manawatu Standard, 8 June 1937.

‘Sunshine and Cherry Blossoms: Esplanade Popular Rendezvous,’ Manawatu Times, 18 October 1937.

‘Returned Soldiers: Palmerston North Branch: Annual Meeting,’ Manawatu Standard, 31 May 1938.

PNCC 1/5/5:0:83/13/4 Part 1, Correspondence for Reserves: Esplanade Paddling Pool, 1937-1984.

‘Mural in Palmerston North Parks Pretty Up Landscape, Put Taggers at Bay,’ Manawatu Standard, 3 March 2017, https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/90031170/murals-in-palmerston-north-parks-pretty-up-landscape-put-taggers-at-bay