By Nick McIvor | Posted: Friday March 2, 2018
A group of 21 boys from all Year levels had the privilege of working with Sir Don McKinnon (ONZ, GCVO) in the Memorial Library on Friday 2 March. Sir Don visited to promote the New Zealand Memorial Museum project at Les Quesnoy in France - for which he is Patron.
This project is an exciting one. It will give New Zealand a special facility (in a converted chateau) that future generations of Kiwis will be able to visit from November. It is in the town we liberated from German occupation in 1918, and is our first permanent War Museum on the Western Front.
Sir Don was accompanied by Andrew Falloon MP and LTCDR Grant Finlayson (Resident Naval Officer), Bevan Killick, and Alistair Furnival.
Considering the nature of this project, meeting in the Memorial Library couldn’t have been more appropriate – nor could having Sir Don speak near the 13 Old Boys found on the eastern wall, each knighted for their services to New Zealand too.
As former Deputy Prime Minister and Commonwealth Secretary - General, Sir Don did not disappoint when it came to captivating discussion; his view not only on World War One but New Zealand’s place on the wider international stage was prescient.
The afternoon was wrapped up with further conversation, fuelled by a tasty Thomas House Catering lunch.
In the year that we commemorate the ending of World War One, it’s a fantastic achievement for our country to open this new museum at Les Quesnoy.
We hope it will be a place of pilgrimage for many of our boys in future.