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Marines' history gathering starts in Paekakariki

Published in Paekakariki Xpressed October 2010

Residents from Wellington, to Levin attended the Kapiti/US Marines Trust's first "history gathering" session at St Peter's Hall on Sunday.

Trust Chair Mayor Jenny Rowan described the gathering as "very moving and a huge success. These are the kind of events that make my job really interesting and worthwhile," she said.

"I'm sure this is just the beginning of our journey to uncover the rich source of historic Marines material that's out there in the community – either in people's memories, or sitting in their attics and garages," she said.
Other guest speakers were: local historians Anthony Dreaver, John Porter and Joan Ellis, who are also members of the Trust.

About 40 people attended the gathering, many of them relatives of marines, or locals who had lived in and around the camps during World War 11. A number shared fantastic stories and memories and many of them brought fascinating memorabilia to share with the group.

As part of the afternoon, members of the Trust displayed original maps of the camps, showing detailed information on where buildings and huts were positioned. A range of photographs from the Turnbull Library were also on display. Included in the "show and tell" were: an original Marines camp sign, a water jug, a uniform, a helmet, a spade, and an autograph book.
The event was videotaped, and members of the Trust will visit a number of those attending to undertake more in-depth interviews over the next few months. The Trust is developing a major web-site and history portal where items of interest can be displayed and described.

People with stories, photographs, dairies, letters or other memorabilia are invited to contact Trust Secretary – Allie Webber Phone 905 8594 or

Marines history gathering starts in Paekakariki

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