Thursday, 22 September 2016

Victory Medal

For the past two years Victory Medal, commemorative sculpture has been touring to installations in Provincial Museums throughout New Zealand.

Victory Medal is an art work from the very well known Auckland sculptor Helen Pollock. 

Its final installation in New Zealand is on Remembrance Ridge in Wellington Botanic Gardens spanning the months of the centenary of the New Zealander involvement in the Battle of the Somme. September 15 – November 13 2016 

The Unveiling of ‘Victory Medal’ and Ceremony for the centenary of the New Zealanders first engagement on the Western Front in the Battle of the Somme 15 September, was at Remembrance Ridge in Wellington Botanic Garden

It was a wonderful event on an unusually beautiful still day.
Her Excellency Mrs Florence Jeanblanc-Risler Ambassador for France in New Zealand and members of the French Embassy attended. Don Staples, Belgian Consul in Wellington represented the Belgian Embassy in Canberra.
Both Councillor Justin Lester, Deputy Mayor of Wellington and Sarah Dennis Former New Zealand Ambassador to France spoke of the important connections between Wellington and France and Belgium , and of the installation over the next few years of Victory Medal in Europe.  

The installation on Remembrance Ridge in Wellington Botanic Gardens will leave for Europe late November.

There is already a work installed in Belgium, Zonnebeke, in the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 and also in the Navy Museum in Devonport NZ.  
With this work in France Helen Pollock will have linked together Belgium, France and New Zealand with three different works remembring World War I and the New Zealand sacrifice.
As did the young men of the provinces a century ago, Victory Medal will leave New Zealand from Wellington for the sea voyage to Europe. It will cross the countryside of Northern France and Belgium, to the three battlefield towns of Arras, Messines and Le Quesnoy”. Like 7500 young New Zealand soldiers in WW1 it will remain in France.”

Victory Medal Tour Destinations in France and Belgium from March 2017:

Arras, France March – June 2017. Victory Medal installation in the Place des Heroes in front of the Belfroi (UNESCO Site) for the Centenary of the Battle of Arras April 9 ( and commemorating the New Zealand Tunnelling Company)

Messines Ridge in Belgium June 2017 - February 8 2018 Victory Medal  in the Town Square to commemorate the Centenaries of the New Zealand Division involvement in the Battle of Messines, June 7 – Feb 2017, 

La Basse Ville, July 2017,

Passchendaele, October 2017  

Polderhoek, December 2017 and final withdrawal of the New Zealanders from Belgium February 1918.

Le Quesnoy: November4 2018   A permanent installation of Victory Medal to commemorate the New Zealanders liberation of Le Quesnoy, in front of the proposed New Zealand Memorial Museum.
Like 7,500 young New Zealanders, Victory Medal will lie forever in France.

The Victory Medal Tour is in partnership with the New Zealand Military Historical Soc. and has received funding from New Zealand Lotteries, the New Zealand France Friendship Fund and Auckland RSA. It has the support of the Wellington City Council.

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