Saturday, 9 June 2012

Congratulations for IFFM

Today, Saturday 9 June 2012,
a concert behind original WWI photo's
It was the official opening of the (re)new(ed) In Flanders Field Museum in Ieper.

Mrs Helen Clark.
Mrs. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, was keynote speaker at
the official opening.
Together with M. Geert Bourgeois, Flemish minister of Tourism, M. Gunter Pertry, West-Flanders deputy for
Culture and Education, M. Luc Dehaene, mayor of the City of Ypres and M. Frans Lignel, chairman of the
museum, she presented the fully renovated In Flanders Fields Museum.

The new museum is more than worth to visit, it's very well done and stunning. All the people involved have done an excellent job. We want to congratulate them all with the fantastic job they have done.

Every speaker said wise things, and we are very happy with that.
inside the museum

Mrs Helen Clark mentioned the Auckland Passchendaele Society and the fact that she accepted to be the patron of the Society. Since the Genootschap Passchendaele Society 1917 is Honorary Member of this Society we are very proud she was invited here as keynote speaker.

there are also beautiful displays

the interaction between the modern museum and the old cloth hall is awesome

the Coordinator Piet Chielens explains the display

this is very special, the black shades are showing the marks of WWI bullets in a tree who continue to grow until late 20th century

Thursday, 7 June 2012

It is with great pleasure that we announce that by the Royal Decree of King Albert II of Belgium, the President of the Passchendaele Society of New Zealand,  Iain MacKenzie has been made a Knight of the Royal Order of the Crown.

Iain was Honorary Consul for Belgium in Auckland from 2000 to 2009 and a highlight of this period was his organising of the visit of the travelling exhibition “Passchendaele: The Belgians Have Not Forgotten” to Auckland in 2009. He also arranged Commemoration Services which were addressed by the Prime Minister the Right Honourable John Key, the Belgian Ambassador His Excellency Patrick Renault and His Worship the Mayor of North Shore City Andrew Williams. On retirement as the Honorary Consul Iain’s attention then turned to the forming of The Passchendaele Society which grew as a result of these activities. We can feel honoured that the hard work of Iain and his team of enthusiastic Board members has been recognised in this way.

About the Order of the Crown:
The Order of the Crown was created in 1897 by King Leopold II. The Order was first intended to recognise heroic deeds and distinguished service in the Congo Free State and then in 1908 it was made a national decoration of Belgium. The Order is also bestowed on foreign nationals for services to Belgium.

Congratulations, Iain, indeed the Belgians have not Forgotten  !